INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — There will be no vote to legalize Sunday alcohol sales in the Indiana House of Representatives this year.
The battle for unrestricted Sunday sales got tangled up in an effort to restrict the way booze is sold seven days a week and, in the end, the bill died for lack of support.
The author of the bill, Republican Tom Dermody of LaPorte, killed it himself by deciding that he wouldn’t call for a vote in the Indiana House.
It means that the battle over Sunday sales is over until next year at the earliest.
Supporters began this session with high hopes but they were dashed when Dermody made the determination that the bill was doomed.
When asked why he didn’t call for a vote anyway and he said he learned what he needed to know when an amendment failed last week.
“And then talking with members,” he said, “I don’t think there’s a necessary requirement to add that fuel to the fire when I know I don’t have support for the bill.”
“It’s a sad day for consumers when they were not able to get the simple ability to purchase alcoholic beverages on Sunday like they can the other six days of the week, “said Grant Monahan of the Indiana Retail Council.
It’s a victory for liquor store owners who would agree to Sunday sales only if new restrictions were placed on big box stores seven days a week.
“Opening eight hours a day on Sunday would have been about a $420,000 cost to Big Red with no promise of increased sales,” said lobbyist Matt Bell.
Meantime, the public wants Sunday alcohol sales. The WISH-TV/Ball State Hoosier Survey found 52 percent in favor.
That’s why this issue will be back again in 2016.
INDIANAPOLIS (AP) – The Indiana House is nearing a deadline to vote on the bill that would lift the state’s ban on Sunday carryout alcohol sales.
House leaders put off a vote on the bill until at least Tuesday and face a Wednesday deadline for taking action to keep the proposal alive.
The bill would lift Indiana’s 80-year-old ban on Sunday sales. But grocery stores and pharmacies would face tougher requirements allowing beer and wine sales in one designated store area, with liquor kept behind a service counter.
The state Senate could also vote Tuesday on a contentious proposal supporters say would ensure people and businesses could refuse services for same-sex weddings because of religious beliefs. Some business leaders argue the proposal could hurt the state’s reputation and efforts to attract companies.
INDIANAPOLIS (AP) – State lawmakers are poised to vote on bills to legalize Sunday carry-out alcohol sales and repeal Indiana’s law that sets wages for public construction projects.
The Indiana House could vote on those proposals as soon as Monday as lawmakers face a deadline this week for keeping bills alive for this year’s legislative session.
The alcohol bill would lift Indiana’s 80-year-old ban on Sunday sales. But grocery stores and pharmacies would face tougher requirements of only selling beer and wine in one designated store area, with liquor kept behind a service counter.
Republican legislators are pushing for eliminating the boards that set construction wages for state or local government projects. Supporters argue that would save millions in tax dollars, while opponents maintain it would open the door for low-paying, out-of-state contractors.
INDIANAPOLIS (AP) – Indiana Gov. Mike Pence is staying out of the mix on some contentious topics in the state Legislature as he prepares for a pair of speeches to influential conservative groups.
Pence says he won’t decide until after the legislative session ends in April whether he’ll enter the Republican presidential race. But he’ll join potential GOP candidates next weekend at events with the Conservative Political Action Conference and the Club for Growth.
Pence has jumped in on some state issues such as allowing the replacement of Democratic schools Superintendent Glenda Ritz as the state Board of Education’s leader. He’s largely avoiding debates on legalizing Sunday carry-out alcohol sales and casino law changes.
House Democratic Leader Scott Pelath says he wishes Pence would make a decision about the White House race.
INDIANAPOLIS (AP) – An effort to dial back proposed restrictions on grocery, convenience and drug stores in a bill that would legalize Sunday carryout alcohol sales was narrowly defeated Thursday in the Indiana House.
This session is the first time legislation to lift the state’s 80-year-old ban on Sunday alcohol sales has made it so far in the legislature, but critics said the regulations on big box retailers could hinder the bill’s chances of advancing.
Under the original proposal, all beer and wine would need to be kept in a designated area, with liquor stored behind the counter. All clerks would have to be 21 or older and have mandated training, and consumers would no longer be able to buy hard liquor through a self-service checkout.
Bill sponsor Rep. Tom Dermody, R-LaPorte, said he believes the proposal would boost consumer convenience but also encourage “responsible retailing.”
House Majority Leader Jud McMillin, R-Brookville, proposed the amendment considered Thursday that would allow liquor to be kept with beer and wine as long as security caps are placed on every bottle. The area would also need to be under 24-hour surveillance.
“This will provide a much more safe way for it to be sold on every day of the week. Not just Sundays,” McMillin said. The small change also would provide “the best middle ground” between the two groups deeply invested in the argument, she said.
Grocery chains, convenience stores and pharmacies have long supported allowing retail alcohol sales on Sunday. But they say segregating liquor from other alcoholic products would create longer checkout lines and inconvenience consumers. Liquor store owners, who originally opposed Sunday sales for fear of increased overhead costs without additional revenue, are now standing behind the proposal.
The amendment came down to two votes and was defeated 47-45. House members also defeated by a wide margin another amendment that would have continued the ban on Sunday sales.
The full House could vote on approving the original measure as soon as Monday, which would send the issue to the Senate for consideration.
INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) – A pedestrian was taken to the hospital after being hit by a car.
One man was hit in the early morning hours Sunday in an area near Rockville Road and South High School Road.
Police say the man was transported to the hospital after sustaining injuries not believed to be life threatening.
Officials also say the driver of the vehicle did not see the man and that alcohol is not believed to have played a role in the accident.
INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) – A committee in the Indiana House of Representatives passed a bill that would lead to Sunday alcohol sales.
It’s significant because it’s the first time there has been a vote in favor of Sunday alcohol sales in the General Assembly.
But the people who fought for years to reach this point are suddenly opposed to the bill. It would require retailers who are not package liquor stores to sell hard liquor at a separate counter and to segregate alcohol from the other products in their stores.
Some people against the amendments believe it could end up hurting consumers in the long run.
“I can’t imagine what kind of cost that would be involved and that’s going to get passed down to me, whether I’m buying the booze that day or not,” said customer Reed Harrig.
Harrig is in favor of the idea of being able to buy alcohol on Sundays at stores in Indiana, but he’s not a fan of some of the restrictions that are being talked about.
Grant Monahan with the Indiana Retail Council calls it anti-consumer.
“The amendment is not constructive but seeks to make it more difficult and expensive for drug, convenience and grocery stores to sell alcoholic beverages,” said Monahan.
The Indiana Chamber of Commerce believes the cost to sell in those locations is mounting.
“The cost of retrofitting retail stores alone will run by conservative estimates to $50 to $60 million,” said Cam Carter of the Indiana Chamber of Commerce, “and it will affect all non-liquor store retailers, large or small, big box, or mom and pop.”
Nevertheless, the committee voted 10-to-2 to send the bill to the full House.
“They would have to build counters. If they want to do it, then do it. If not, they don’t have too,” said customer Brandon Smith.
“The stores are not going to just absorb that cost,” said Harrig. “They’re going to pass it onto the consumers so I’d rather see that restriction removed.”
Liquor store owners who previously opposed Sunday sales testified in favor of the amended bill.
The author of the bill, Republican Tom Dermody of LaPorte, promised to consider changes as it moves through the legislative process.
It’s a long way from becoming law.
INDIANAPOLIS (WISH/AP) – The Indiana House Public Policy Committee is set to discuss a bill that would lift the state’s 80-year-old ban on Sunday alcohol sales.
The committee will also consider a slew of amendments Wednesday aimed at pleasing both sides in the long-running issue.
Committee Chairman Tom Dermody of LaPorte is sponsoring the bill that would allow stores to sell alcohol on Sundays. His bill marks the best chance for legislation repealing the ban, after numerous failed attempts.
Dermody says the amendments are a compromise and would require consistent regulation and training across the industry.
Supporters say the ban costs stores millions of dollars annually in sales. Liquor store owners fear that lifting the ban would increase their operating costs without generating any additional revenue.
House Bill 1624 is expected to be amended to include the provision that grocery stores must build a separate check-out area for customers to buy booze on Sundays. Hoosiers for Sunday Sales says this will cost grocers over $100 million. This would mean customers must buy the spirits behind a counter or even in a separate room. Liquor stores would not have to abide by the same rule. The bill also places restrictions on where the alcohol can be placed in drug, grocery and convenience stores.
“This issue has always been about bringing greater convenience and choice to consumers,” said Grant Monahan, president of the Indiana Retail Council. “Hoosiers believe that a product sold safely six days a week should be able to be sold on the seventh day. Instead of focusing on that, this amendment has turned this legislation into a debate about increasing restrictions on alcohol for consumers,” said Grant Monahan, president of the Indiana Retail Council.
Monahan says there is no reason to force certain businesses to spend these millions of dollars and “further complicate the issue.”
Lawmakers say the amendment is an attempt to make a more level playing field between “mom and pop shops” and big box retailers.
INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) – Dozens of people had a good time Sunday enjoying food for a good cause.
The ‘Taste of Hope’ fundraiser raised support this afternoon for Hope Academy, which is a charter high school that takes in teens who’ve struggled with drug and alcohol addiction.
The event featured several local chefs and restaurants showcasing may of their signature dishes, to raise money for key items the school needs.
“Things like computers, our recovery support staff, those are all unfunded programs that we have that we need to raise money for,” said
The program also featured artwork from hope academy students and a presentation about the school’s mission to help teens with drug abuse.
INDIANAPOLIS (AP) – The leader of the Indiana House isn’t making any predictions on the fate of a proposal to legalize Sunday carryout alcohol sales.
A House committee is scheduled to hold a public hearing Wednesday on the bill that would end Indiana’s status as the only state prohibiting retail carryout sales of beer, wine and liquor on Sundays.
Republican House Speaker Brian Bosma said Thursday he didn’t know whether the proposal will reach the full House for a vote or whether it would have enough support to win passage.
The bill would allow groceries, pharmacies and liquor stores to sell alcohol on Sundays from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Other Sunday alcohol sales proposals have failed to advance in the Legislature in recent years.