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The governor calls for a change to the state's 'out of date' Sunday restrictions.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

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 rquested 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 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.
Lori Fogler Nicholson January 15, 2012 at 03:00 PM
I think this may drive alot of Mom and Pop liquor stores into the ground over time and large shops like Coastal in Branford will thrive because they can afford 5 young employees to work Sundays. I wonder what we will gain in revenue if we lose hundreds of small places statewide? Has anybode done an impact study or is state government flipping a coin and hoping they got it right? I'd like to see the numbers and forgo the emotional arguements. Show me the data because it's not enough to guess that droves of people are going across statelines every Sunday it would be helpful to actually have those statistics. Also to look at liquor stores like the small ones here in Branford that will be negatively impacted by this and how it will affect their existence. Was there an impact study done?
chip January 15, 2012 at 05:51 PM
I believe this is short sighted. The idea that more revenue will be generated because we all will buy more now that shops are open Sundays is flawed. What it will do is burden smaller shops with higher costs, raise prices and/or lower profits and put some out of business altogether.
Lori Fogler Nicholson January 15, 2012 at 10:48 PM
Good points Chip....we need a long term study to know if this is a longterm money maker or a bandaide destined to fail.
Beth January 16, 2012 at 12:46 AM
Nowhere does it say it will be mandated that package stores be open on Sundays or stay open until 10pm...it DOES say if they CHOSE to do so...wake up, it's about time CT came out of the dark ages and joined the new millenium
dave January 16, 2012 at 02:17 AM
there is a huge hole in malloys budget that he needs revenue for. the hypocrit, sees many going over our borders to buy liquor in other states on sunday, but will tell you he wants healthy people. he would suffer some drunk diving and alcoholic deaths to just get some new revenue. this man needs to go, and fast. and if anyone wants to point out malloys claim to a surplus? if you used the GAAP malloy promised, you have a huge deficit, and also he is using bond money to fill in gaps in the budget. someone needs to tell the dullard that no state or country has ever taxed and spent themselves into prosperity.

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