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Sunday Liquor Sales Proposed By Malloy [With Poll]

Is Connecticut behind the times? The governor calls for a change to the state's 'out of date' Sunday restrictions.

Governor Dannel P. Malloy announced a package of policies seeking to make Connecticut competitive with surrounding states when it comes to the sale of alcohol.

The announcement, made Saturday afternoon at Enfield Town Hall, represents a change in direction for the entire state, Malloy said.

"Today I take a step forward in making Connecticut competitive with surrounding states and, at the same time, moving in the direction of being pro-consumer," he the governor said.

At the heart of Malloy's package, which must be passed by the state legislature, is the sale of alcohol on Sundays, certain holidays and on Mondays that come after Sunday holidays.

Liquor retail stores in Clinton, the quantity of which are regulated by the state, include , the , , , and . Beer is available for sale at and Town & Country Market (but not on Sundays, of course).

Allowing Sunday and holiday sales is meant to increase sales at stores in towns that border Massachusetts, Rhode Island and New York — sales that represent an estimated $570 million in lost revenue, Malloy said.

"I think the governor has done a fantastic job with this," said Dominic Alaimo, owner of Freshwater Package Store on Route 5 in Enfield.

"Finally we have a governor that didn't listen to the lobbyists and listened to the consumers. ... It's a tremendous amount of money that's been going over the border and God knows Connecticut can use it."

The package includes a number of measures in addition to legalizing Sunday and holiday sales, which border-town shops have requested for decades, but many shops located in central Connecticut have resisted.

"To the owners of shops [that haven't felt the competition], I say that 'We're working with you,'" said Malloy.

"We're going to allow you to sell other items, and we're going to create a marketplace."

Connecticut is currently one of two states in the nation that does not allow the sale of alcohol on Sundays outside of restaurants and bars.

Specifics of what Malloy's office called "modernizing Connecticut's Liquor Laws" include:

  • The creation of a statewide "medallion" system (in addition to standard package store licenses), which will be given to all current package store owners to reflect their right to expanded business options.
  • Package and grocery stores will be allowed to sell alcohol until 10 p.m. if they choose to do so.
  • Restaurants and bars can stay open and serve alcohol until 2 a.m. (subject to local ordinances).
  • Some small convenience stores will be given the option of selling beer.
  • Package stores will be allowed to sell goods in addition to alcohol, including snack food, cheese, crackers, chips and other items thought to be "complementary" to alcohol consumption.
  • Price posting, minimum bottle and quantity discount laws will be eliminated.
  • Grocery stores will be allowed to operate separate package stores.
  • One person or LLC will be able to operate more than two package stores through the purchase of a medallion.
Scott Leone January 16, 2012 at 02:14 PM
In the beginning, Sunday and late-evening liquor sales will be mostly impulse purchases. But over time these sales will even out as they have in other states. It will be interesting to see how much tax revenue is actually "repatriated" from neighboring states. Kudos to Mr. Malloy.
Cheryl January 16, 2012 at 02:39 PM
Anything to get more money into the governor's hands, but, at least, the stores can make a bit of cash as well. Go figure: chalk up one for the small business guy!
Fran M. January 16, 2012 at 02:49 PM
Malloy to store owners: "We're going to allow you to sell other items, and we're going to create a marketplace." "Package stores will be allowed to sell goods in addition to alcohol, [...] items thought to be "complementary" to alcohol consumption." Seems reasonable that Malloy should combine these new policies with his other gem of an idea, legalizing marijuana use....those are "complimentary" right? ;) While we are observing the potential tax revenue "repatriated" by this policy change, we should also monitor the DUI/accident rates on Sunday and Monday mornings...
Ranger Rick January 16, 2012 at 04:31 PM
The Mom and Pop stores will have to hire people to cover the extra day and hours, if any additional revenue is made it would go to the added staff. I say IF ANY ADDITIONAL MONEY IS MADE. I really don't see more money being made for the Mom and Pop operations only the big box store grocery companies.
mrshess January 16, 2012 at 04:53 PM
I like that the stores may have a choice as to whether they will open on Sundays/holidays and/or extend their hours. I sometimes stop in Rhode Island on my way home and their prices are lower than here. BTW, on Sundays there, some liquor stores are open and some aren't.
Olivia January 16, 2012 at 07:14 PM
Who cares really? I live in a State where liquor is sold 24/7, in all stores.... no one even thinks about it. It is a non issue. It does make me laugh to read what you all argue about up there though. Certainly there are more important issues the government should be addressing.
Ed Annino January 16, 2012 at 08:53 PM
I understand this is another way for CT to get revenue but I still ask the question...What happens to all the revenue CT already gets? Property taxes, income tax, highest cost of living in the country, tax Social Security (one of the few states in the country), monthly income from 2 of the largest casinos...WHO is managing this money? That is my question. What is it being spent on? I still truly believe we have no one in Hartford who is looking at the state's spending line item by line item.
Steve Bristol January 16, 2012 at 11:02 PM
Ed, Can't argue with a bit of that...especially when The Guv says he really likes the revenue and one of the CT House members was quoted in the Courant as saying "it's easy money."
James Fisher February 16, 2012 at 02:25 AM
Does the beloved governor really want to get additional revenue for the state from the guy in the bar who can now buy two more drinks, between 1:00 AM and 2:00AM, before he drives home?
Ranger Rick February 16, 2012 at 02:49 PM
I figure it's the way to the end of the Mom and Pop spirit shops. The big $$ box type stores will soon control all liquor stores. The Mom and Pop stores will go the way of the Mom and Pop Drug Stores. Our country was built on the foundation of the small business owner. Appears that this era has come to and end and our foundation is crumbling.

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