IN Focus: Governor says he’ll sign Sunday sales bill soon

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. -- The Sunday alcohol sales bill is officially on its way to Governor Eric Holcomb's desk.

The Senate concurred with changes to Senate Bill 1 with a vote of 38-10 just two days after it passed the House, sending it to Gov. Eric Holcomb’s desk for final approval.

Gov. Holcomb says he “won’t let too many Sundays pass” before signing the bill.

SB 1 allows Sunday alcohol sales from noon to 8 p.m. at grocery stores, package liquor stores, convenience stores, drug stores and restaurants for the first time since prohibition. Sales could start as soon as March 4 due to an amendment making it effective as soon as it’s signed into law.

The Indiana Association of Beverage Retailers Chairman says small business package liquor stores have been preparing for this change by updating work schedules and preparing to hire, train and license new employees.

Indiana Association of Beverage Retailers Chairman Jon Sinder issued this statement:

The Indiana Association of Beverage Retailers congratulates the Indiana State Senate for voting today to concur with Senate Bill 1 which will send this historic piece of legislation to the Governor’s desk.  This is only the latest milestone in the long legislative process that we expect to end with Hoosiers being able to purchase alcohol for carryout on Sunday for the first time since prohibition.

We would especially like to commend Chairman Ben Smaltz and Chairman Ron Alting for their work in shepherding this landmark bill through the Indiana General Assembly and we appreciate Governor Eric Holcomb who has indicated his intention to sign it into law.

Indiana’s small business package liquor stores have been preparing for this outcome for months by updating work schedules and if needed hiring, training and licensing new employees that reach the highest standards of safety as required by Indiana law. Indiana’s neighborhood package liquor stores have been responsible merchants of alcohol products since 1933 and we will be ready to open our doors on Sundays for the first time.  We are eager to welcome our loyal customers.

The first day for Sunday sales is expected to be next Sunday, March 4. That means some local business are scrambling to adjust schedules and make sure they have enough staffing to open their doors.

"It's a built in day off for me, so I was kind of looking forward to not having to schedule myself or my employees on Sunday," said Ron Miller, owner of Cork and Cracker.

He's looking to hire a part-time employee to cover the extra shifts. At Crown Liquor, Owner Jon Sinder said they're working to make sure new employees have the proper certification.

"Liquor stores have a little bit more of a challenge, because all of our clerks are licensed and trained by the Indiana State Excise Police," Sinder said.

Both Miller and Sinder said they'll just have to wait and see if they will profit from the extra day of sales.

"I don't think my profits are going to go up. It will cost me a little bit. It's going to cost for an employee," Miller said.

Not every store will be open the full eight hours once Sunday sales begin. Cork and Cracker will be open from 12 to 4 p.m.