Sunday alcohol sales move closer to reality

By Erica Irish and Emily Ketterer
TheStatehouseFile.com

 INDIANAPOLIS — The Senate passed legislation to extend the business week for alcohol sales in a 39-10 vote Monday.

Senate Bill 1, authored by Sen. Ron Alting, R-Lafayette, would permit Hoosiers to buy alcohol between noon and 8 p.m. on Sundays.

Alting said the measure will help Indiana’s retailers by adding just one more day of business.

“In total, this bill will allow all of our businesses to be serving alcohol approximately 74 percent of the hours within a week,” Alting said.

Sen. Ron Alting, R-Lafayette, adresses legislators about SB 1 regarding Sunday carryout sales.
Photo by Bryan Wells, TheStatehouseFile.com

As the senators wrapped up SB 1, its counterpart, House Bill 1051, was heard on the House floor where an amendment to remove the noon to 8 p.m. time restriction failed in a voice vote.

Rep. Matt Pierce, D-Bloomington, authored the amendment, saying it would save the House from the ridicule of having to return to the subject of time restraints in the future.

“What’s going to happen is there is going to be someone in a store at 11:45 a.m. and see a sign that says, ‘we can’t sell this to you now because the legislator says so,'” Pierce said.

Rep. Ben Smaltz, R-Auburn, said the focus of the bill should remain on the sale of alcohol on Sundays, and time should not be spent arguing over what hours to sell it.

“Indiana is about to vote to go where no Hoosier has gone in a very long time, and that’s into a grocery store on a Sunday to buy some alcohol to carry out,” Smaltz said. “I’d surely hate to see us get bogged down in an argument over hours.”

Erica Irish and Emily Ketterer are reporters for TheStatehouseFile.com, a news website powered by Franklin College journalism students.

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