FAIRFIELD COUNTY, Conn. – Sunday liquor sales may finally come to Connecticut if Gov. Dannel P. Malloy has his way. The governor announced Saturday afternoon that he intends to introduce legislation updating state liquor laws that date to Prohibition.
“These laws are outdated and they artificially increase the price of alcohol to Connecticut consumers,” Malloy said in a statement. “By allowing Sunday sales, by removing distribution and sale restrictions and by amending permit regulations, we’re going to help Connecticut regain its competitive edge in this industry, and we’re going to give consumers a break.”
The proposal would eliminate minimum pricing, which Malloy argues would lower costs for consumers. It would also allow the sale of alcohol not only on Sundays, but also on holidays and on Mondays that come after Sunday holidays.
Malloy said the goal is to keep Connecticut competitive with neighboring states that have modified their laws “to reflect modern-day realties.” Other than Connecticut, the only state in the country that bans Sunday sales of alcohol is Indiana, Malloy said.
“Our statutes have collected dust and it has resulted in consumers shopping in bordering states, causing Connecticut retailers to lose $570 million in sales each year to surrounding states by some industry estimates,” said Malloy in the statement, calling his proposal “pro consumer,” “pro mom and pop” and “pro dollars being spent within the state.”
Connecticut voters said they supported Sunday alcohol sales in liquor stores, 56 percent to 39 percent, according to a Quinnipiac University Poll on March 18, 2010. Men said they supported Sunday sales 62 percent to 33 percent, and women supported it 50 percent vs. 46 percent.
The Connecticut Package Stores Association has stated its opposition to repeal the Sunday ban and said the legislature would not allow it. “The majority of Connecticut’s legislators will not allow such a bill to pass, as has been the case for over 15 years,” according to its website. It also argued that additional hours of sale would not boost revenue but would only spread six days' worth of sales over seven days.