Two Indiana Sunday alcohol sales bills move forward

Lawrence Kim
January 13, 2018

Two committees discussed separate bills allowing Sunday sales from noon to 8 groceries, package liquor stores and for other permit-holders that now sell alcohol. A Senate committee will consider that bill next week.

The measure passed Wednesday on a 9-0 vote by the Senate Public Policy committee.

State Senator Ron Alting (R-Lafayette) said, "If you notice, there's no one fighting in the halls, there's no one fighting in here. There's really no big strong opposition of it".

Alting said, "I'm hoping we don't get bombarded down in second readings, and that's why I mentioned that". Senate Bill 273 also deals with cold beer sales and it includes additional provisions for the clerk, the store's permit fees and provisions involving penalties for violations.

The Indiana Retail Council, which represents grocery stores, is one of the many groups that have rallied around this year's Sunday sales push.

Both bills would allow alcohol sales in grocery, convenience, liquor and drug STORES from noon to 8 p.m.

Rep. Smaltz believes his bill will be called up for another hearing and possible committee vote on Wednesday next week.

"In the past, it has been we have been too restrictive to the entities that it affects", Alting says.

An identical bill was heard earlier by the House Public Policy committee, though it was not voted on.

"Anything can happen in this process when it comes out the committee", Smaltz said. "I think it'll come out of the Committee pretty clean", said Smaltz, a Republican from Auburn. The arch enemy of Sunday sales abruptly became a supporter in a deal created to preserve the status quo where the sale of cold beer is concerned.

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"It is time for Sunday sales". Now that is a right enjoyed primarily by package liquor stores, which have fought hard to keep it that way.

"The agreement is that we would oppose the expansion of cold beer sales and we stand by that", testified Grant Monahan of the Indiana Retail Council.

The committee's approval signals a step forward in repealing the state's post-Prohibition era laws. "We are eager to continue working directly with legislators and policy makers as these landmark pieces of legislation continue to move forward without delay".

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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