OLIVE BRANCH, MS (abc24.com) - Mississippi lawmakers are trying to pass a couple of bills that would change the way you enjoy happy hour.
One in particular, HB 1422, would allow businesses to sell beers that contain higher alcohol content. Beer in Mississippi is sold at the lowest alcohol content in the country, at only 5 percent.
Lawmakers believe a change would help business and bring in variety. However, residents say they could care less about how easy it is to get tipsy on a glass of beer. They think lawmakers should be worried about more important things.
"Right now they can’t sell those craft beers of higher alcohol content and out of the 100's top craft beers in the country only 10 of those 100 are allowed to be sold in Mississippi and by passing this bill we would be able to open the state up to some more of those beers,” said the bill's sponsor, Representative Scott DeLano from Biloxi.
If it becomes law, that would raise the alcohol content to 8 percent.
“None of the beers sold in the state today will change their alcohol upon passage of this bill,” DeLano told abc24.com.
One Olive Branch, Mississippi beer distributor is excited.
"We think it'll offer more variety to the consumer in the state,” said A&B Distributor Manager, James Lunsford. "This would kind of get us to a competitive level with all the other states."
Another Mississippi house bill on the table, HB 1029, would limit beer samples at breweries to 6 ounces.
"We don’t want them to have an unlimited amount,” said DeLano. “We've got to be responsible about it. Most of the time those are given away as a courtesy."
So what do Mississippians think off all this beer talk?
"There's so much else going on. Why worry about beer? I mean there are homeless people they can be helping out,” said resident Charley Barkley. “[Lawmakers'] priorities aren't where they should be. People are losing their jobs everyday and they're worried about beer."
"Absolutely they should be dealing with other issues,” said another resident, Lewis Young. “Mississippi is last in education, that's the number one priority. People are fat and uneducated.”
Both bills passed the House and are heading to the Senate.