Supermarkets have long sought to legalize Sunday sales, but they're denouncing an addition to the bill that would segregate the beer and wine section, and put hard liquor behind the counter. Indiana Chamber vice president Cameron Carter says it would cost 50-to-60-million dollars to retrofit stores. And Kroger's John Elliott says the restrictions would slow checkout lines.
While big retailers oppose the amended bill, liquor stores who have fought Sunday sales embrace it as a reasonable way to keep alcohol away from minors. Indiana Association of Beverage Retailers president Patrick Tamm showed the House Public Policy Committee photos from big-box store displays, with alcohol side-by-side baby items.
Shelbyville Republican Sean Eberhart is a co-author of the bill, but cast one of two committee votes against it. He says the new restrictions are excessive, and questions the liquor stores' sudden willingness to accept the bill. He notes they've long warned Sunday sales would put one-fourth of package stores out of business.
The House Public Policy Committee, voting 10-2 Wednesday, made history as the first to approve the perennial legislative proposal.