Supporters of failed efforts to legalize Sunday alcohol sales in Indiana live by the motto of “try, try again.”
They’re re-introducing legislation, shot down in the past, that would allow the purchase of carryout alcohol on Sundays and put an end to one of the last “blue laws” on the books.
“I think there’s more support in the House and the Senate than we’ve ever had before, or ever realized,” said Grant Monahan, president of the Indiana Retail Council, which has backed previous, failed attempts to legalize Sunday sales.
State Sen. Phil Boots, R-Crawfordsville, has already filed a bill that he hopes will get a hearing when the Indiana General Assembly goes back into session in January.
Boots’ new bill is much like the old Sunday-alcohol bill he filed last year that never got past the committee chairmen who act as legislative gatekeepers.
But in addition to doing away with the current ban on carryout alcohol sales in grocery and drug stores on Sunday, it would also loosen some restrictions on package liquor stores, whose owners have fought to keep the Sunday ban.
Boots’ bill would allow package liquor stores to sell more food items, it would allow grocery and drug stores to sell cold beer, and it would allow adults to bring their children into liquor stores where they’re now banned if under 21. Boots said he’s heard some concerns about that last provision.
“I know some people have concerns about it, but I don’t see the issue,” Boots said. “You can walk into a grocery store now and kids allowed to walk down the same aisle that has alcohol beverages in it.”
Boots’ central argument for Sunday sales remains the same from past years: That is, that Indiana residents can legally buy alcoholic drinks by the glass in a restaurant on Sunday, but they can’t buy a six-pack of beer or a bottle of wine or liquor in a store to take home to consume.
“In my opinion, that encourages you to drink and drive,” Boots said.
His legislation would require retailers that currently sell carryout alcohol to buy a supplemental permit; the revenue from those supplemental permit sales would go toward enforcement of Indiana alcohol laws, Boots said.
Other states have some prohibitions on Sunday alcohol sales — some that allow beer and wine sales only — but Indiana is the last one in the nation that bans all sales of carryout alcohol on Sundays.
That lonesome status may not be enough to make a difference, though.
John Livengood, president of the Indiana Association of Beverage Retailers, which represents many of the state’s liquor stores that oppose Sunday sales, said legislators support the current laws that are designed to control access to the availability of alcohol.
Livengood said he didn’t see that anything on the landscape had changed since the last session.
Boots concedes he’s yet to win the support of the committee chairmen who’d have to schedule his bill for hearing for it to advance to a vote.
One of those chairmen is state Rep. Bill Davis, R-Portland, who chairs the House Committee on Public Policy. Davis said that he hasn’t changed his view that Hoosiers have ample enough opportunity to buy alcohol six days a week and don’t need a seventh.
“I’ll have to see the bill before I make up my mind,” Davis said. “But I don’t think I’ve changed my position.”
Maureen Hayden covers the Statehouse for the CNHI newspapers in Indiana. She can be reached at email@example.com.
Supporters of failed efforts to legalize Sunday alcohol sales in Indiana live by the motto of “try, try again.”
- State News
Nature trust expands Owen-Putnam State Forest
POLAND, Ind. (AP) — State officials say funding from the Bicentennial Nature Trust has helped the Indiana Department of Natural Resources expand a central Indiana state forest by 84 acres.
Indiana court says child welfare agency went too far
INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — The Indiana Supreme Court says the state’s child welfare agency went too far when it took custody of a woman’s five children when she had trouble making ends meet during one child’s medical crisis.
Indiana schools get options for making up snow days
INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Indiana schools won’t get a free pass for the mounting number of days lost to weather cancellations this winter.
Consumers asked to weigh in on proposed water rate hike
INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — A state agency is inviting consumers to voice their opinions on a rate increase requested by the Indiana American Water Company.
37 flu-related deaths in Indiana
INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — State health officials say at least seven more people have died in Indiana from flu-related illnesses as this year’s strains are hitting some young and middle-aged adults harder than usual.
Schools could be allowed option on makeup days
INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — The state school superintendent says school districts could make up some snow days by having longer school days or having online instruction on a Saturday.
State AG offers help to Hoosiers facing critical propane shortage
INDIANAPOLIS – Indiana Attorney General Greg Zoeller announced today, Feb. 5, that his office will assist consumers who face critically low propane levels and experience supplier issues - especially as temperatures continue to drop.
Indiana plans $75M push to demolish abandoned homes
INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Indiana officials plan to use a $75 million federal grant to demolish thousands of blighted houses in the state.
Pence asks Hoosiers to check for extra propane
INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Gov. Mike Pence is asking farmers and others to return any unused propane to their suppliers as the state struggles through an ongoing shortage.
Indiana sees number of flu deaths jump to 11
INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — State health officials say the number of Indiana influenza deaths this season has jumped to 11, up from three reported a week ago.
- Inventor hopes Bike Zeppelin takes off GREENSBURG - A local civil engineer has created a Zeppelin-shaped apparatus that allows bicyclists to ride in the rain without getting wet. Greensburg resident Jim Gorman remembers the day that inspiration struck: Nov. 22, 2011. It rained all day, an
Text of Gov. Pence’s 2nd State of the State speech
INDIANAPOLIS (Jan. 14) — Speaker Bosma, President Pro Tem Long, Lt. Governor Ellspermann, Senator Lanane, Representative Pelath, distinguished members of the General Assembly and Judiciary, honored guests, my fellow Hoosiers.
Thank you for that warm welcome. After last week, warm is my favorite word! I want to thank all of you in this room and your families for your service to the people of Indiana in this historic place.
Pence looks to sell lawmakers on 2014 agenda
INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Indiana Gov. Mike Pence is heading into his second State of the State address with a broad agenda and friendly Republican majorities in the audience of lawmakers he’ll be addressing.
Indiana senator retiring after cancer diagnosis
INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — A longtime Republican state senator will not seek re-election after being diagnosed with lung cancer.
State health officials announce 3 influenza deaths
INDIANAPOLIS — State health officials today reported the first influenza deaths of the 2013-14 flu season. Influenza is now widespread across Indiana, said State Health Commissioner William VanNess.
School at heart of grade-change flap drops to ‘F’
INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — The Indianapolis charter school at the center of Indiana’s grade-changing scandal saw its grade drop from an “A” to an “F” in school grades released today.
Indiana’s unemployment rate drops to 5-year low
INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Indiana’s unemployment rate dropped to 7.5 percent for October, marking its lowest level since late 2008 as the recession deepened.
Indiana lawmakers proposing new day care rules
INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Indiana day cares that receive federal money would face new requirements for training and staff-to-child ratios under bills three lawmakers plan to introduce in the next legislative session.
Pence asks Sebelius for meeting on health care
INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Gov. Mike Pence has requested a meeting with Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius to discuss issues that may be blocking a federal approval of using the state’s health savings accounts to expand Medicaid coverage for needy people in Indiana.
MAUREEN HAYDEN: Democrat leaders want marriage amendment pulled
INDIANAPOLIS — Indiana’s Democratic leaders in the Statehouse called for their Republican counterparts to pull the controversial same-sex marriage ban amendment off the legislative table, urging them to focus their energies instead on education, the economy and jobs.
Chaotic education board raises ‘Rules’ questions
Amid the chaos and fighting that has become Indiana’s Board of Education meetings of late, the question has popped up: Why not follow Robert’s Rules of Order?
UPDATE: Ex-Indiana schools chief faces ethics complaint
INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Former Indiana schools Superintendent Tony Bennett is accused of using state resources for political reasons in a complaint filed with the state’s ethics commission today.
Bayh among new advisers to Middle East think tank
INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Former U.S. Sen. Evan Bayh is joining a Middle East think tank in Washington.
Gov. Pence issues proclamation declaring Larry Bird Day in Indiana
INDIANAPOLIS – Gov. Mike Pence today issued a proclamation declaring Saturday, Nov. 9 as Larry Bird Day in Indiana. The proclamation coincides with the official dedication of a 15-foot bronze statue of Bird at Indiana State University in Terre Haute.
MAUREEN HAYDEN: 'Return on Investment' report by Indiana Commission on Higher Ed compares value of college degrees
Indiana higher education officials have long been promoting the value of a college degree, but a new report shows some degrees are much more valuable than others.
Judge hears from AG in Ritz-board of ed legal tilt
INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — A Marion County judge is considering Attorney General Greg Zoeller’s argument that state schools Superintendent Glenda Ritz cannot sue members of the State Board of Education without his permission.
Pence announces school safety grants
Flanked by fourth-grade members of the Ambassadors Club and student council at Cedar Elementary School here, Gov. Mike Pence announced more than $9 million in grants for schools statewide to enhance their security.
Ritz expects effort to diminish her authority
INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Indiana Schools Superintendent Glenda Ritz, a Democrat, said Wednesday she is wary of what she sees as a broad effort by Republicans to strip her power, amid growing tension between her and the State Board of Education she nominally chairs.
Conservative think tank paid Daniels for speech
WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. (AP) — A Purdue University spokeswoman says school President Mitch Daniels was paid for a speech at a conservative Minnesota think tank’s fundraiser that some believe broke his pledge to avoid partisan politics.
Indiana, schools sue over IRS health overhaul rules
INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Indiana and 15 public school districts are suing the Internal Revenue Service for allegedly overstepping its authority in imposing “employer mandate” regulations on state and local governments under the federal health care overhaul.
- More State News Headlines
- Nature trust expands Owen-Putnam State Forest