Kyle Brown, manager of Publix Super Market in Tullahoma, organizes wine bottles on Wednesday. Jan. 6 will be the first day Publix will sell wine on Sunday.  

More than 30 new laws in Tennessee are set to go into effect with the new year, and one of them will affect how and where you can buy wine.

Starting Jan. 1, grocery retailers statewide can begin selling wine on Sundays. Gov. Bill Haslam signed a bill in April allowing retail liquor stores Sunday alcohol sales, but the bill included a provision delaying the sales of wine in grocery stores until January.

Kroger is one of the local stores preparing for the change.

“The new law will allow us to sell wine on Sundays, starting Jan. 6,” said Renee Sims, assistant store manager. “We can sell it between the hours of 10 a.m. and 11 p.m. on Sundays. I think this will lead to an increase of sales.”

Sims reminded shoppers to bring an identification document, if they wish to purchase wine or beer.

“Always have your ID ready,” Sims said.

 Also for the first time, grocery stores may sell wine on New Year’s Day.

The bill (HB1540) amends a previous law prohibiting Sunday wine and liquor sales.  As enacted, it authorizes the sale of alcoholic beverages and wine on Sundays during certain hours; however, the new law still prohibits sales on Easter, Christmas and Thanksgiving.

Each municipality determines when to allow the sale of alcoholic beverages. Tullahoma City allows for the sale of mixed drinks, beer and packaged alcohol within the city limits beginning at 10 a.m. on Sundays. Monday through Saturday, alcoholic beverages may be sold starting at 8 a.m.


Other changes

From reporting opioid abuse to education, here are some of the new laws that will soon go into effect.



HB2004 requires the Tennessee Department of Health to accept allegations of opioid abuse or diversion and to publicize a means of reporting of such allegations. The bill prohibits civil liability for or firing of a person who reports suspected abuse or diversion.



HB0108 requires, in cases where an ultrasound is performed as part of an examination prior to an abortion, the person who performs the ultrasound to offer the woman the opportunity to learn the results of the ultrasound. The bill also requires, if an ultrasound is performed, that report of abortion indicate whether or not a heartbeat was detected.


Professions and occupations

SB2306 gives licensing authorities discretion whether to suspend, deny or revoke a license based on the applicant or licensee having defaulted or become delinquent on student loan repayment, if the licensing authority determines that the default or delinquency is not the result of a medical hardship.


Election laws

SB2497 reduces from 90 days to 60 days the period before a qualifying deadline for elective office during which nominating petitions may be issued by an administrator or county election commissioner.


Motor vehicles

HB1515 increases from $400 to $1,500 the minimum property damage threshold for which a motor vehicle accident requires a written report to be filed with the Tennessee Department of Safety.


Highways, roads and bridges

SB1783 increases the tax on unregistered or improperly registered freight motor vehicles.


Controlled substances

HB1993 requires health care prescribers to issue prescriptions for Schedule II controlled substances electronically by July 1, 2020, with some exceptions.



HB1805 exempts certain low-income individuals from initial licensure fees imposed by some health-related boards and professional regulatory boards.



HB2315 prohibits state and local governmental entities and officials from adopting sanctuary policies.


Water pollution

SB0619 requires each local board of education to develop a policy to implement a program to reduce the potential sources of lead contamination in drinking water in public schools. The policy should incorporate periodic testing of lead levels in drinking water sources at school facilities constructed prior to Jan. 1, 1998.



SB2165 revises requirements regarding coverage for mental health, mental illness, and alcohol or drug dependency, and it requires certain reports.



HB1694 adds and revises various provisions governing teacher training programs.

To see the full list of bills effective Jan. 1, visit

Elena Cawley may be reached via email at