Sunday Alcohol Sales Bill Dies in Committee

Sunday alcohol sales will remain off limits  in Connecticut after a bill that would have lifted the old holdover from the state’s “Blue Laws” died in committee.

The committee did not vote down the Sunday sales bill, but they will not meet again before their committee’s deadline to vote the bill out of committee for the full General Assembly to consider.

Sen. John A. Kissel, R-Enfield, co-chairman of the Program Review and Investigations Committee said he decided not to force a vote because, “I know how to count. The votes weren’t there. It was pretty close, but not a one vote margin.”

Kissel said the committee’s divide on Sunday sales was more geographic than partisan: Lawmakers from towns bordering Rhode Island, New York and Massachusetts favor Sunday sales so their local package stores can compete with cross-border competitors who are allowed to sell on Sundays. But others say it would hurt small liquor retailers and increase crime.

A committee report says Sunday sales would generate up to $8 million for the state each year. But the Connecticut Package Store Association says it would cost individual store owners $14,000 a year to open the extra day and could result in 300 stores closing.