Senator Boots authors bill for cold beer sales

Indiana State Sen. Ron Alting a Republican from Lafayette speaks Jan. 10 2018 to news media at the Statehouse in Indianapolis

IN is one step closer to allowing Hoosiers to purchase alcohol on Sundays at stores.

A Senate committee has unanimously endorsed lifting the ban on Sunday sales, with a vote in the full Senate possible next week.

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.

Senate Chambers were packed Wednesday afternoon. Alting, chairman of the Public Police Committee, championed his bill.

Alting 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".

In the Senate, the Public Policy Committee voted 9 - 0 in favor of passing SB 0001.

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"I'm hoping we don't get bombarded down in second readings, and that's why I mentioned that, ' Alting explained. 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". "The additional few hours are important to our customers".

Today, an Indiana Senate committee approved a bill that would allow grocery, convenience, and liquor stores to sell alcohol on Sundays from noon to 8 p.m. Grant Monahan, president of the Indiana Retail Council, says the state is losing $12 million a year to border states that allow Sunday sales.

But Indiana's Coalition to Reduce Underage Drinking wants strict amendments to both bills. They want language to include an increase in the state's alcohol tax, requirements that clerks who sell alcohol will be 21 or older, with specific training on spotting fake IDs, and assurances that alcohol will be separated from other products in stores.

"Anything can happen in this process when it comes out the committee", Smaltz said. "We worked on it all Fall, and think we'll have the support of the committee".

However, the Senate agenda places higher on the list an attempt to allow Sunday alcohol sales as recommended by a study commission.

Convenience stores didn't testify on the bill, but are continuing their pursuit of cold-beer sales despite the supermarkets' withdrawal of support. Sunday sales, he believes, stand "a pretty decent chance" of gaining legislative approval.

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