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Sunday sales legislation gets House approval

February 20, 2018

A bill that would allow Hoosiers to buy alcohol on Sundays has passed the House of Representatives, moving the legislation one step closer to becoming law in Indiana.

The House voted Tuesday on Senate Bill 1, which would allow grocery, convenience, liquor and drug stores and restaurants to sell alcoholic beverages for carryout from noon to 8 p.m. on Sundays, ending a Prohibition-era ban on Sunday alcohol sales. The House Public Policy Committee gave its approval to the Senate legislation last week after SB 1 passed through the Senate in late January.

Prior to Tuesday’s 82-10 vote, the House committee amended SB 1 to allow the legislation to go into effect as soon as it receives the governor’s signature, rather than waiting until the usual legislative effective date of July 1. Rep. Ben Smaltz, R-Auburn, told his colleagues before the vote that he could think of no reason to delay implementation of SB 1.

“Indiana’s small business package liquor stores are already preparing for this eventual conclusion by updating work schedules and when necessary hiring, training and licensing new employees that attain our strict safety standards per Indiana law,” Jon Sinder, chair of the Indiana Association of Beverage Retailers, said in a Tuesday statement. “We are excited for Sunday sales and will be ready to open our doors.”

The IABR joined forces with the Indiana Retail Council to put their support behind the legislation.

There was no debate on the measure before the House vote, though Rep. Thomas Washburne, R-Evansville, took time to praise Smaltz for his work on Sunday sales legislation. Smaltz is the chair of the House Public Policy Committee and is the author of the House’s version of Sunday sales legislation, House Bill 1051.

The Senate Bill, authored by Sen. Ron Alting, R-Lafayette, will now be sent to a conference committee. Meanwhile, the Senate Public Policy Committee will consider HB 1051 at 1:30 p.m. Wednesday.

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