An update from our friends at Hoosiers for Beverage Choices…
As you may be aware, the 2010 Session of the Indiana General Assembly drew to a close last Friday. Unfortunately, the legislature ignored the voices of the more than 50,000 Hoosiers who support the modernization of Indiana’s alcoholic beverage laws to allow for Sunday carryout alcohol sales and cold beer sales at Indiana’s drug, grocery and convenience stores. Your legislators failed to pass these common-sense changes into law.
That’s not to say that lawmakers did not take up some alcoholic beverage issues this year. The legislature did pass Senate Bill 75, which allows for Sunday carryout sales at microbreweries and also extends the hours that bars and restaurants can be open on Sundays to 3:00 am Monday morning (current law cuts off sales at 12:30 am).
The inconsistencies and unfairness in Indiana’s alcohol laws get worse every year!
Hoosiers can purchase alcohol on Sundays at bars, restaurants and microbreweries, but they still can’t shop at their local drug, grocery or convenience store. Even though opponents of this common-sense change express concern over drunk driving, a concern we all share, they convinced your legislators to extend the time that bars and restaurants can serve on Sundays from 12:30 am to 3:00 am Monday morning.
The powerful package liquor store lobby was able to protect the monopoly on cold beer sales in Indiana given to them by your legislators for another year. Hoosiers will continue to pay a “cold beer tax” because of the artificial monopoly enjoyed by package liquor store owners at a time when drug, grocery and convenience store owners are doing every they can to help struggling Hoosier families deal with a very challenging economy.
Even though we are disappointed with the outcome of this legislative session, we know that these changes take time, and we are optimistic about our prospects for success during the 2011 legislative session. First, it will be a “long” legislative session, allowing for more issues to be addressed by the General Assembly. In addition, lawmakers must also pass the state’s budget next year, and as state revenues continue to fall, we believe that the additional $10 million or more generated from Sunday sales will be recognized as part of a common sense solution to budget shortfalls.
With your continued support, we will continue our efforts to modernize and bring fairness to Indiana’s alcoholic beverage laws will continue this summer. We will keep you posted of our efforts and let you know how you can continue to support this campaign.
As always, thanks for your efforts on behalf of Hoosiers for Beverage Choices.
Hoosiers for Beverage Choices