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Free shots of liquor remain in past in Wisconsin

Wisconsinites won't get free shots of liquor at their local grocery store any more.

Gov. Jim Doyle vetoed that provision of the new state budget Friday before signing the new two-year spending plan at a ceremony at the University of Wisconsin-Madison's student union.

A provision slipped into the budget at the last minute would have allowed up to 1.5 ounces (42.5 grams) of liquor to be handed out for free in grocery stores in Wisconsin, where more than 40 percent of the population is of German descent.

"To me, it's absurd that you walk into a grocery store and start taking shots," Doyle said.

Free beer is still OK, though. Doyle signed a law earlier this year allowing stores to pass out sample brews.

Doyle also vetoed a new three-tiered distribution system for wine sold in the state, saying the system would have stifled the state's small wineries, perhaps forcing them out of business.

The Legislature can override any of Doyle's vetoes if two-thirds of both the Senate and Assembly agree.