State lawmakers look set to approve a bill that will allow more grocery stores to sell full-strength wine and beer.
The measure won preliminary approval in the House late Tuesday night. It has one more significant vote before heading to the governor.
Under the bill, grocery and convenience store chains would be able to slowly acquire a limited number of liquor licenses, in part by buying out nearby independent liquor stores.
Republican Rep. Dan Nordberg told his colleagues the alternative to this bill is that grocery chains will seek unlimited alcohol sales through a ballot measure.
"[That is] very much one-sided solution that will punish small businesses that have existed in our state and have played under the same laws the past 80 years, since prohibition," Nordberg said.
Safeway and King Soopers do not support the bill. They say they will continue to work on a ballot measure allowing chains to sell beer and wine at all their outlets.