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Malloy Wants CT's Sunday Liquor Laws Changed

The governor calls for a change to the state's 'out of date' Sunday restrictions.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 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.

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

Connecticut is 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.
John T. January 17, 2012 at 09:01 PM
To those that are criticizing the measure, you need to put aside your own antiquated morals. In order for the average Connecticut business owner to stay in business, keep and expand jobs, they need to be competitive. Being able to open their businesses on a Sunday is one way to do so. As a mature, responsible adult, I want the right to make my own decision as to whether or not I want to purchase alcohol on a Sunday. I don't need the conservative right to dictate to me what I can and can't do. It's not about "getting drunk", it's about my choice!
Kevan January 18, 2012 at 01:24 PM
John, although I understand the need for "consumerism" in the US, this is just another ploy by the state to support big business, and systematically crush small business. We, as a people, have gotten so addicted to shopping whenever and wherever we want, that we don't recognize the ramifications to others from decisions like this. First, do you actually think that this move was made to help business owners earn more income?? Hardly....this move is being pushed through so that you can have one stop shopping at big businesses like StopnShop and Costco. Most store owners will only gain extra expenses from this decision as portions of their current friday and saturday sales get shifted to sunday, but companies like UI and CL&P will be licking their chops as 1100 stores are forced to start up their businesses for another day. Staffing, workers comp, insurance, expenses will all increase without the added revenue to balance out. I love the fact that stores along the state lines talk about how much revenue they lose on sundays to neighboring states?? How can you lose something that you have already admitted to never having in the first place?? This is about greed, and it will cause long lasting negative effects on this industry far beyond governor Malloy. Last thought, suppose that you worked at GE, and your upper manager said, "starting monday, we are going to a 7 day work week, cuz the state okayed it. Would you be preaching about your "consumers' right to choose" then?
CuriousOrange January 18, 2012 at 02:11 PM
Kevin is right. Too bad we cannot examine data showing how much has been spent by whom to lobby for this bill. I suspect we would find corporations, for whom alcohol is a draw for customers who will also buy high-profit impulse items, looking to push ma & pa out of their low-margin (20%) family business.
Allison January 18, 2012 at 02:45 PM
All you have to do is look behind Malloy every time he talks about this "package"....his close friend who would ike to own MANY stores in CT but cant because of the 2 permit rule, so he puts the permit in others names...This isnt about Sunday opening, which is what Malloy and his BFFs want you all to think. Its the abolishing of the Liquor Board ( Does everyone like when stores get the age verifcation checks? Who do you think runs those?) and getting rid of all those rules that help keep things running smooth. All we are going to have is a few Wal-martesque stores that will control everything....stores will close, no new jobs, no new income, and then Malloy will have to raise taxes because we will all end up going to NY for booze anyway.
CT January 26, 2012 at 06:59 AM
This has nothing to do with morality, and will in no way increase DUIs, who is stopping someone from buying alcohol saturday and drinking Sunday. The only reason people have been against this, and I mean those who speak rationally and not those who believe alcohol is a sinners drink or only for those without morality, is by legalizing sunday sales local liquor stores would have to stay open late and on sundays in order to compete with large businesses like supermarkets. Drop the moral crap and learn to look at things objectively.

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