Sunday booze sales coming to Indiana after Legislature OK

Posted at 12:18 PM, Feb 22, 2018
and last updated 2018-02-22 16:40:58-05

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — A bill legalizing Sunday carryout alcohol sales in Indiana is on its way to the governor and could take effect soon.

The state Senate voted 38-10 Thursday without any debate to give final legislative approval to repealing the Sunday alcohol sales ban that's been in place since the Prohibition era nearly a century ago.

Gov. Eric Holcomb said earlier Thursday that he "won't let too many Sundays pass" before signing the bill.

"There's a pen on my desk," the Republican said. "We're waiting for the process to take its course. But when it arrives ... we will sign it."

The Indiana House approved the bill last week after an amendment making it effective immediately after being signed by the governor, rather than July 1.

Lawmakers for decades have debated ending the ban, but those proposals all foundered amid squabbling among interest groups. That abruptly changed this year with Republican legislative leaders endorsing the change.

When Holcomb was asked if he was planning anything special for the bill signing, he replied: "We're working on it."

But he was coy when asked about other measures addressing outmoded alcohol laws, such as a bill that failed this year which would have allowed pharmacies, convenience stores and big box retailers to sell cold — and not just room temperature — beer.

That's a right primarily enjoyed by liquor stores, whose owners have fought fiercely to keep it that way.

"There's more work to be done," Holcomb said, adding that he would deal with those issues next session.