Connecticut Considers Allowing Sunday Liquor Sales

fromWNPR

Connecticut is one of two states that ban the sale of alcohol on Sundays. That means residents have to plan ahead for Super Bowl parties. Governor Dannel Malloy says lifting the Sunday ban would make the state more competitive with its neighbors.

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RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

And now to lawmaking at the state level. In Connecticut, residents will have to do some advance planning for their Super Bowl parties. The state is one of only two that still bans the sale of all alcohol at stores on Sundays. But Jeff Cohen of member station WNPR reports, that could change.

JEFF COHEN, BYLINE: First things first. In Connecticut, stores that sell beer, wine and hard liquor are called package stores. And Dominic Alaimo owns the Freshwater Package Store in Enfield, Connecticut, close to the Massachusetts line. He's tired of watching his business leave the state.

DOMINIC ALAIMO: It's millions of dollars that are leaving, plus the other shopping. They fill their gas tanks, they buy food, they buy cigarettes.

COHEN: The state's legislature convenes next week, and Governor Dannel Malloy says he'll ask it to approve a series of liquor law changes, including one that will allow stores to open on Sundays. He says it's pro-consumer and pro mom-and-pop.

Not if you ask John NeJaime. He owns New Milford Spirit Shoppe. He says there's nothing pro mom-and-pop about working an extra day. Plus, he says being open Sundays will stretch out his regular business - but it won't bring him any more. Then there's this.

JOHN NEJAIME: What we lose over to the border stores isn't generally the average, you know, family with 2.3 cars or 2.3 kids. It's generally the 20 to 27-year-old who pretty much doesn't need that other case of beer.

COHEN: But, on at least this Super Bowl Sunday, anyone who does need that extra case of beer is going to have to leave the state to get it.

For NPR News, I'm Jeff Cohen in Hartford.

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