Two committees discussed separate bills allowing Sunday sales from noon to 8 p.m.in groceries, package liquor stores and for other permit-holders that now sell alcohol.
"I'm here to express Kroger's support for House Bill 1051, allowing for Sunday sales of alcoholic beverages in Indiana", Kroger spokesman Eric Halvorson said.
Alting's committee is scheduled to hear a bill expanding cold beer sales, but leading legislators have said that bill will likely not pass through the General Assembly this session.
The House committee is set to vote on the bill next week.
"If you notice, there's no one fighting in the halls, there's no one fighting in here", Alting said.
The Senate Public Policy Committee approved the bill, which will now make its way to the Senate floor. 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 bill comes after the Alcohol Code Revision Commission voted on in November to recommend allowing carryout alcohol sales on Sundays.
As for any benefits to the retail council, Monahan pointed out that Sunday is the second busiest day of the week and that IN typically loses $12 million a year IN sales and excise taxes as residents drive across state lines on Sundays to shop for alcohol and other items. The Coalition To Reduce Underage Drinking, represented by director Lisa Hutcheson, does want a study on the impact of Sunday sales on underage drinking. "I think it'll come out of the Committee pretty clean", said Smaltz, a Republican from Auburn.
"It's unanimous that it's simply the time to do a Sunday sales bill", said Sen.
The bill would have limited Sunday sale hours, noon to 8 p.m.
The limited hours are to accommodate liquor stores, which now are closed Sundays, by limiting their staffing needs to only one shift.
IN now prohibits packaged alcohol sales on Sunday.
"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. Today's committee hearings were a significant step forward in the legislative process that we hope will end with Hoosiers being able to purchase alcohol for carryout on Sundays for the first time since prohibition without compromising on safety.
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