State senate committee approves bill allowing Sunday carryout alcohol sales

Joann Johnston
January 12, 2018

"IN is known as being a great state for doing business, and I believe licensed retailers should have the option to do what is best for their business by making the decision to sell warm or cold beer in their stores". That could soon change.

Ron Alting, R-Lafayette, would allow current alcohol permit holders, including package stores, to sell between noon and 8 p.m. on Sundays.

After being debated on the Senate floor, senators will vote on whether to push the bill through to the House, where it will be debated and voted on again. Network Indiana/WIBC Statehouse Bureau Chief Eric Berman reports it's unclear whether SB 1 will receive a vote Wednesday afternoon from the committee.

The committee heard close to an hour of testimony on the House version of the bill to legalize Sunday alcohol carryout.

"In the past, it has been we have been too restrictive to the entities that it affects", Alting says. "That's also been the death of these good bills like this", said Alting.

But Indiana's Coalition to Reduce Underage Drinking wants strict amendments to both bills.

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"We're just concerned that sometimes there are advertisements for the Super Bowl for beer right next to you know, kids books and things like that", said Lisa Hutchenson, Vice President of Indiana's Coalition to Reduce Underage Drinking.

The author of HB 1051 and chair of the House Public Policy Committee, Rep.

"After a period of time, if we see that 12 to 8 was working quite smoothly, then perhaps we could incrementally change that and expand it. if we find there's no additional unforeseen social carnage from allowing a seventh day", Smaltz said. "I think it'll come out of the committee pretty clean".

Smaltz said he expects a Committee vote on his Sunday Sales bill sometime next week.

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

Two groups that had perennially played the Hatfields and McCoys on the issue were suddenly on the same side on the same page-in support of Sunday sales. 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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