Indiana lawmakers likely to approve Sunday alcohol sales

INDIANAPOLIS (WANE) We are just a few weeks away from the new year, and the start of the 2018 Legislative session. Wednesday, hundreds of people got together to talk one-on-one politics and hot topics with lawmakers.

It was all part of the 26th annual Bingham Greenebaum Doll Legislative Conference.

Philip Sicuso a Partner at Bingham Greenebaum Doll said, “I think today is about dialogue and having people from both sides of the aisle come together and talk about what’s important to them.”

Legislators talked about a variety of things. One of those talkers? An extra day to buy booze.

Beverly Gard chairs the state’s Alcohol Code Revision Commission, which recently recommended lawmakers approve Sunday sales from noon to 8 p.m.

We asked Gard if it is possible that Sunday sales could happen in 2018.

“Yes, I think so,” Gard said. “I think the legislature is seeing that it’s something the public has felt very strongly about. This recommendation as a strong recommendation from the Commission.”

State Senator Ron Alting, a Republican from Tippecanoe County, created the Sunday sales bill. He also leads the committee that oversees alcohol policy.

“I think I can get it through,” said Alting. “I think the timing’s right. I look forward to the challenge.”

Previously, we’ve heard from some liquor stores who are against Sunday alcohol sales, plus other outspoken groups. Alting said he’s wording the bill carefully.

“Do not add anything that’s going to be extremely controversial, that’s gonna lose votes, that could possibly kill the bill,” said Alting.

Something else that could be dead is cold beer sales.

Gard explained: “I don’t think cold beer sales will happen in 2018.”

Gard said a proposal just didn’t get enough votes for the Commission’s approval, so they will not be recommending that.

Gard said if Sunday sales passes, the Alcohol Commission recommends raising alcohol taxes, and fines for violations.

That, she said, would ultimately help the Alcohol Tobacco Commission’s excise officers with enforcement and compliance.