INDIANAPOLIS — Sunday carryout alcohol sales is closer than ever to becoming reality in Indiana.
The Senate voted 39-10 to repeal the state’s Prohibition-era ban on Sunday alcohol sales at liquor, grocery and convenience stores. It’s the first time such a measure has passed either chamber of the General Assembly.
The House could vote on an identical bill as early as Tuesday.
The measure, Senate Bill 1, would allow stores that sell alcohol, including grocery, convenience and liquor stores, to sell alcohol from noon to 8 p.m. on Sunday.
Efforts to expand those hours failed in both chambers.
Still, the Senate approval is a huge win for supporters of Sunday sales, a topic that has never even received a hearing in the Senate in the past.
Approval comes after a Senate panel last week knocked down another popular alcohol reform that would have expanded cold beer sales to convenience and grocery stores. Now, cold beer is almost exclusively the domain of the state’s small but powerful liquor store industry.
Sen. Ron Alting, chairman of the Senate Public Policy Committee, last week attributed the success of the Sunday sales measure to an unlikely alliance between liquor stores and the state’s retail council, which represents grocers and big box stores.
Under the deal, both groups are supporting Sunday sales while opposing expanded cold beer sales.
Even if the House approves its own identical version, House Bill 1051, both the Senate and House measures will have to be heard and voted on by the opposite chamber.
Gov. Eric Holcomb would then have to sign the measure for it to become law.