City | 10:18 pm | May 1, 2012 | By Nick Defiesta

Senate passes liquor reform bill

Three_minors_were_cited_for_underage_drinking_outside_Broadway_Liquor_on_Friday
Photo by Nick Defiesta.

A bill to allow Sunday liquor sales passed the Connecticut Senate Tuesday afternoon.

In addition to allowing Sunday liquor sales, the bill increases the number of stores a package store owner can own and creates a task force to study further changes to liquor laws. It passed the Senate Tuesday afternoon with a bipartisan 28-6 vote. The bill will now head to Governor Dannel Malloy, who has pledged to sign it into law.

“It’s a measure that’s long past due and a good first step to making our state’s package stores more consumer friendly,” Malloy said in a statement after the vote. “Our current laws have cost Connecticut businesses millions of dollars as consumers have flocked over our borders in search of more convenient hours and lower prices.”

Democrats estimate that the legislation will also bring in an extra $5.3 million in state revenue, which they say will alleviate the state’s deficit. Opponents, meanwhile, argue that the bill will hurt small independent liquor store owners, who will benefit less from the legislation then larger package store owners.

Once Malloy signs the bill into law, Indiana will be the only state that bans Sunday liquor sales.

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