State Senator Liz Brown talks Sunday alcohol sales and mass shootings

Liz Brown at Don Hall's Gas House giving a legislative update to Republican Women Informed and Involved.

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) – State senator Liz Brown (R-District 15) says a bill to permit alcohol sales on Sunday in Indiana could be signed by Governor Eric Holcomb as early as March. She spoke to residents today during a lunch to provide a legislative update as this year’s session reaches the halfway point.

The state senator met with Republican Women Informed and Involved at Don Hall’s Gas House Saturday. She updated people about two bills she’s supporting, one on prior authorization of health plan coverage and the other on car dealer reimbursements. She said both are progressing through the statehouse.

She also provide thoughts on a range of issues such as the pro-life movement and the opioid epidemic.

She said the Sunday alcohol sales bill is making strong progress in the state house and that it’s likely to be signed into law by the governor, and maybe as soon as the end of this year’s legislative session in March.

“It’s was a difficult decision,” she explained. “It wasn’t an easy thing. Lots of different businesses affected by it, but in my opinion you sort of open the barn door with the breweries, the distilleries and the wineries and hopefully this will be something that all the players are agreeable to and I think they were. I think it was a good compromise.”

In light of the school shooting in Florida this week, Brown says there won’t be any statehouse bills proposed concerning guns because the proposal period has closed for the session. She shared one thought on the mass shooting.

“One of the disturbing things was there was a lot of information about the shooter in Florida ahead of time, the FBI tip,” she said. “I think I read 39 times the police in five years have been called to his house with some pretty awful charges. So if that gentleman didn’t have a red flag then no one does. If there was something our local law enforcement, say we need to be able to act more rapidly with people like that then I’d be more than happy to support that.”

As for medical marijuana legislation, the senator won’t back it’s legalization until the federal government defines medical marijuana.

“I think there may be some need for it, but we have no idea what that is,” she said. “For us to just use this term medical marijuana like it’s an aspirin tablet and everyone knows what the dose is and what the consequence is, that’s not the case. I’d love for it to be studied and I’d love for science and medical professionals to say yes this will help those cancer patients who are suffering and can’t alleviate their pain. This will help people with glaucoma or whatever the issues are, but right now it’s a guessing game.”

NewsChannel 15 asked the senator what she thinks about tougher hate crime legislation.

“The citizens of Indiana should know the judges today have the ability to impose those kinds of sentencing enhancements on people they think are guilty of that kind of aggravated crime,” she said.

The hate crime bill proposed at this year’s session died before ever being voted on.

She also gave her opinions on legislation concerning sexual harassment in the work place.

“I think the protections already exist,” she said. “It’s just whether or not people choose to partake of those protections or whether or not the people who are in charge of enforcing them are doing a good job. I have not had anyone coming to me saying they’ve had their claim dismissed or anything like that. I’ve never, ever been reached out to and asked to try to enhance it in anyway. I haven’t seen anything that has happened that we haven’t been able to punish with the existing laws.”

Session meets again on March 5 and adjourns for the season on March 14.