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Gov. Holcomb signs Sunday alcohol sales bill

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — With the stroke of a few pens, Indiana’s decades-long prohibition on Sunday alcohol sales in stores was washed away Wednesday.

The alcohol sales bill will officially go into effect Sunday.

Gov. Eric Holcomb said at a signing ceremony, “I would say to entrepreneurs and residents that there’s no need to cross the border anymore in the state of Indiana. Buy local.”

You can now buy alcohol starting on Sundays in groceries and convenience, liquor, and drug stores statewide. State Sen. Ron Alting spearheaded the bill.

Alting, a Republican from Lafayette, said, “It’s been 202 years since Hoosiers legally have been able to go and purchase alcohol on Sundays. Today was truly an historic day.”

Jon Sinder, an owner of Crown Liquors and chairman of the Indiana Association of Beverage Retailers, said, “Our trade association has been in favor of Sunday sales since 2015. Historically, there was a time, of course, where we were against it. What’s really changed is consumer sentiment.”

At Alabama Liquors, in downtown Indianapolis at 947 N. Alabama St., 30-plus-year employee Bob Graves was not afraid to say why he disagrees with the new law.

Graves said, “The big-box stores, they spend the money until they get it. They want to run us out of business as hard and fast as they can. They’d love to have this.”

Alting said, “I trust and have strong beliefs in the small-business man and woman that owns the liquor stores.”

Graves said he is not yet sure if his store will even be open this Sunday. He’ll be watching and waiting to see what impact, if any, the new law may have on Indiana.

Lawmakers react

House Speaker Brian Bosma, a Republican from Indianapolis, said, “Today’s bill signing is a big win for all the Hoosiers who voiced their support to end the decades-old ban on carryout alcohol sales on Sunday. Indiana’s Alcohol Code Revision Commission did a great job in opening the conversation last summer, and it was good to see legislators act quickly to bring this long-awaited convenience to consumers.”

State Senate President Pro Temp David Long said, “Modernizing Indiana’s alcohol laws has been long overdue for our state, so the passage of Sunday sales is a strong step in the right direction. I am thankful to Gov. Holcomb for signing Sunday sales into law today. Congratulations and thanks are also in order to Sen. Ron Alting and Rep. Ben Smaltz for their dedicated and focused efforts to move this bill through the legislature successfully.”(Below, online viewers can catch the governor’s bill-signing ceremony. App users can go online here.)