Rep. Haynes exits House by passing alcoholic beverage bill, delivering farewell speech

State Rep. Ryan Haynes of Knoxville is one of the youngest members of the Tennessee Legislature but on Wednesday the last bill he presented as a lawmaker also included a nod to older folks, according to Richard Locker.

The bill, which addresses several alcohol issues, includes a provision saying that liquor store clerks don’t have to require people who “reasonably appear” to be at least 50 to show an identification card showing their age before selling them an alcoholic beverage.

(Note: It’s HB542, introduced as a caption bill, then much amended. The ’50 and older’ language is part of Senate Amendment 3.)

…Haynes, who turns 30 on May 8, is leaving the General Assembly when it adjourns for the year to become full-time chairman of the Tennessee Republican Party, a post he was elected to by the party’s state executive committee on April 11. He has represented the 14th House District — Farragut and the southwestern corner of Knox County — since 2009. He won re-election to his fourth term last November and is chairman of the Knox County legislative delegation.

When he took the House podium for the final time as a House member, he gave an emotional farewell. With his voice breaking, he said it was an honor to represent the people of his district and Knox County, and to serve in the House. “When I first got down here, I would go home on the weekends and tell my mother and father about what good people serve here. And each one of y’all have been like my family my entire adult life,” Haynes said.

The House added an amendments that prohibits “advertising, describing, labeling, naming, selling or referring to an intoxicating liquor as ‘Tennessee Moonshine’ unless it’s distilled in Tennessee. The Senate concurred and sent it to the governor.