Sunday alcohol sales debate continues

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Should Indiana permit the sale of packaged liquor on Sundays?  It's a question now being considered by state lawmakers in a process that started with a Wednesday public hearing.

It's a battle between the big box stores and grocery stores that are open on Sunday and the mom and pop liquor stores that now must close. It's a battle that has been fought behind the scenes at the Statehouse for four years.

The liquor stores contend that many of them would be forced out of business by Sunday sales. The grocery stores believe they lose business to surrounding states that permit Sunday sales.

"What we’re talking about is $300 to $600 million in revenue lost to Indiana businesses just on Sunday," said John Elliott of Kroger.

Among those who argued against the bill was Lisa Hutchinson of the Coalition Against Underage Drinking.

"The bottom line is alcohol is already easily available six days a week, seven if you count microbreweries and wineries," she said, "and increasing the availability will increase alcohol-related problems."

The committee will not vote on it Wednesday. The earliest a vote might take place is next week.

Currently, Indiana is the only state where you can buy alcohol in a bar or restaurant on Sunday but cannot take it home.

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