February 22, 2018

Governor Pledges To Sign Sunday Alcohol Sales Bill

Gov. Eric Holcomb says he will sign legislation to legalize Sunday carryout alcohol sales. - file photo

Gov. Eric Holcomb says he will sign legislation to legalize Sunday carryout alcohol sales.

file photo

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb pledged on Thursday to sign legislation overturning a Prohibition-era ban on carryout Sunday alcohol sales, promising that he "won't let too many Sundays pass" before it becomes law.

The Republican's remarks came hours before what is expected to be a final state Senate vote to send the historic bill to his desk. Holcomb says he has a pen ready.

"There's a pen on my desk," the Republican said. "We're waiting for the process to take its course. But when it arrives ... we will sign it."

Lawmakers for decades have debated ending the ban on retail Sunday alcohol sales. But those proposals all foundered amid squabbling among interest groups.

That abruptly changed this year with measures soaring through both chambers of the Legislature.

The House even made a change, making it effective immediately after it is signed.

The Senate must take one final vote, signing off on that change before it goes to Holcomb.

When Holcomb was asked if he was planning anything special for the bill signing, he replied: "We're working on it."

But he was coy when asked about other measures addressing outmoded alcohol laws, such as a bill that failed this year which would have allowed pharmacies, convenience stores and big box retailers to sell cold — and not just room temperature — beer.

That's a right primarily enjoyed by liquor stores, whose owners have fought fiercely to keep it that way.

"There's more work to be done," Holcomb said, adding that he would deal with those issues next session.

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