Sunday Sales Bill Heads To House With No Changes
February 20, 2015 –Indiana Public Broadcasting’s Brandon Smith reports.
INDIANAPOLIS – Lawmakers turned back proposed changes to a controversial bill that would permit Sunday sales of alcohol in Indiana but also put new restrictions on where liquor and beer can be sold in some stores.
House Bill 1624 – authored by Rep. Thomas Dermody, R-LaPorte – is now eligible for a vote by the full House.
Lawmakers have been debating Sunday sales for years. It’s a concept generally opposed by liquor stores and supported by larger grocery, drug and discount store chains. But those latter retailers aren’t happy with a provision that requires them to put liquor behind a counter – and they had hoped for changes when the bill was eligible for amendment on Thursday.
Rep. Jud McMillin, R-Brookville, proposed an amendment that would have allowed liquor to remain in front of the counter at stores as long as it was kept in one area and the bottles had security caps. Bottles would have to be placed behind a counter if they were too small for the caps. The area would also have to be under a 24-hour surveillance.
“This is about personal responsibility and about how much government should intervene in what you’re able to do,” McMillin said.
The amendment would also have prohibited stores from displaying alcohol next to children’s items such as backpacks or toys.
“I would rather have my kids be exposed to alcohol through me, their mother, than anywhere else,” said Rep. Terri Austin, D-Anderson. “I want them to learn how to handle it responsibly and I don’t think having my children in the cart or beside me when I am going down the aisle to put a bottle of wine or a six pack of beer for my husband makes me a bad mother.”
The amendment failed 47-45.