HARTFORD, CT - Connecticut could soon become the 49th state to allow Sunday alcohol sales, the Associated Press reports.
The proposal by Governor Malloy to drop the Prohibition era ban had been blocked by an association of package store owners, who have now dropped their opposition to focus on other aspects of the governor€™s proposal to overhaul the state€™s liquor laws.
Package store owners had opposed the Sunday sale proposal, arguing it would force many small stores out of business. Supporters of the bill said the change would enable state businesses to better compete with Massachusetts and Rhode Island, where the introduction of Sunday sales within the last decade has helped boost sales.
"The experience of these states shows without doubt is that Sunday sales does not spread current sales over more days, nor has any state seen a wholesale change in the number of package stores and liquor stores in their state. There's simply no reason that Connecticut would be any different," said Jay Hibbard, vice president of government relations for the Distilled Spirits Council of the U.S.
Earlier this week, Carroll Hughes, a lobbyist for the Connecticut Package Stores Association, told Connecticut€™s General Assembly General Law Committee that the group would no longer oppose the proposed change.
"I've suggested we endorse (Sunday sales), which seems to be a driving force here on the train to accommodate certain people, mostly in the food stores that already are open and think they're going to do a huge business," said Hughes.
Malloy has promoted the change as one offering consumers with convenience and lower prices. He said it would discourage state residents from purchasing alcohol from neighboring states on Sundays, which would benefit Connecticut retailers.
"What we're trying to do is create a system that will ultimately lead to lower prices," Malloy said, "which will ultimately lead to our recovery of $570 million worth of sales, will ultimately lead to increased jobs and which will ultimately, quite frankly, lead to the state's recovery of its fair share of revenue."