Sunday alcohol sales, overdose death investigation bills advance in Statehouse

INDIANAPOLIS (WANE)- You’re just one step away from being able to buy booze on Sunday.

Tuesday afternoon….Indiana’s House passed a bill that would allow Sunday sales statewide.

State Sen. Ron Alting, a Republican from Lafayette said, “History was just made today in the House of Representatives, by passing Senate Bill 1.”

The bill, which now has approval of both state chambers, would allow you to buy alcohol at grocery, convenience, drug and liquor stores from noon to 8pm on Sundays. Now. there’s one more hurdle State Senator Ron Alting’s bill must climb.

Alting explained, “Now, it moves back to me in the Senate to dissent, which we will agree upon. Work with my colleagues to get that done at a record pace in the Indiana State Senate and get it to the Governor’s desk as soon as possible.”

Another bill state lawmakers hope gets to the Governor’s desk has to do with overdose death investigations. Authored by State Senators Jim Merritt, Ed Charbonneau and John Ruckelshaus, the bill would require county coroners to do an investigation if they suspect a person died from accidental or intentional overdose of a controlled substance.

Marion County’s Deputy Coroner, Alfarena Ballew told us she is aware of the bill that was heard in Committee today. She said it isn’t a big deal for her department, because they already investigate those types of deaths. She said the legislation will need to provide funding to smaller coroner’s offices, for those investigations. She points to what she says is a 60% rise in Marion County OD deaths from 2014- 17. And, she says a toxicology test can cost from $145 to $250.

The overdose deaths bill passed committee this afternoon 22 to zero.

To read the Sunday Sales vote sheet, click here.
To read the overdose deaths bill, click here.