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Sunday retail alcohol sales could be just weeks away

Members of the House Public Policy Committee meet Wednesday at the Statehouse. The panel agreed to set an immediate effective date for a measure legalizing Sunday retail alcohol sales in Indiana.

INDIANAPOLIS — Hoosiers may get to buy alcohol on Sundays for at-home consumption sooner than originally expected.

The Indiana House and Senate last month separately approved proposals authorizing the retail sale of beer, wine and liquor between noon and 8 p.m., local time, on Sundays beginning July 1.

On Wednesday, the House Public Policy Committee agreed to change the effective date of Senate Bill 1 to allow Sunday sales to begin on the first Sunday after Gov. Eric Holcomb signs the measure into law.

The idea to switch to an immediate effective date was jointly devised by state Sen. Ron Alting, R-Lafayette, sponsor of the measure, and state Rep. Ben Smaltz, R-Auburn, who sponsored the identical House Bill 1051.

"Why wait until July to provide more convenience for citizens?" Alting asked.

Following the revision, the House Public Policy Committee voted 9-1 to advance the proposal to the full House.

If approved there, likely next week, the amended legislation then must return to the Senate for a final decision, sometime before March 14, on whether to send it to the governor.

Holcomb has said he will sign Sunday sales into law if the measure makes it to his desk.

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Dan is Statehouse Bureau Chief for The Times. Since 2009, he's reported on Indiana government and politics — and how both impact the Region — from the state capital in Indianapolis. He originally is from Orland Park, Ill.