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Malloy Proposes Overhaul of State's Blue Laws

The governor calls for a change to the state's 'out of date' Sunday restrictions.

Governor Dannel P. Malloy announced a package of policies seeking to make Connecticut competitive with surrounding states when it comes to the sale of alcohol.

The announcement, made Saturday afternoon at Enfield Town Hall, represents a change in direction for the entire state, Malloy said.

"Today I take a step forward in making Connecticut competitive with surrounding states and, at the same time, moving in the direction of being pro-consumer," he the governor said.

At the heart of Malloy's package, which must be passed by the state legislature, is the sale of alcohol on Sundays, certain holidays and on Mondays that come after Sunday holidays.

Allowing Sunday and holiday sales is meant to increase sales at stores in towns that border Massachusetts, Rhode Island and New York — sales that represent an estimated $570 million in lost revenue, Malloy said.

"I think the governor has done a fantastic job with this," said Dominic Alaimo, owner of Freshwater Package Store on Route 5 in Enfield.

"Finally we have a governor that didn't listen to the lobbyists and listened to the consumers. ... It's a tremendous amount of money that's been going over the border and God knows Connecticut can use it."

The package includes a number of measures in addition to legalizing Sunday and holiday sales, which border-town shops have rquested for decades, but many shops located in central Connecticut have resisted.

"To the owners of shops [that haven't felt the competition], I say that 'We're working with you,'" said Malloy.

"We're going to allow you to sell other items, and we're going to create a marketplace."

Connecticut is currently one of two states in the nation that does not allow the sale of alcohol outside of restaurants and bars.

Specifics of what Malloy's office called "modernizing Connecticut's Liquor Laws" include:

  • The creation of a statewide "medallion" system (in addition to standard package store licenses), which will be given to all current package store owners to reflect their right to expanded business options.
  • Package and grocery stores will be allowed to sell alcohol until 10 p.m. if they choose to do so.
  • Restaurants and bars can stay open and serve alcohol until 2 a.m. (subject to local ordinances).
  • Some small convenience stores will be given the option of selling beer.
  • Package stores will be allowed to sell goods in addition to alcohol, including snack food, cheese, crackers, chips and other items thought to be "complementary" to alcohol consumption.
  • Price posting, minimum bottle and quantity discount laws will be eliminated.
  • Grocery stores will be allowed to operate separate package stores.
  • One person or LLC will be able to operate more than two package stores through the purchase of a medallion.
Jim G. January 15, 2012 at 09:19 PM
"...ranked CT as the number 1 worst state to retire to!" Excellent news, in my opinion. The last thing any state needs is more Rascal-drivers piling in to whine about how crappy everything is, while paying essentially no taxes of any kind and upping the load on state medical and LTC costs. Florida and Texas are welcome to them - that, or they could just stay in their own home state, which must have been good enough for 65+ years, right?
Jim G. January 15, 2012 at 09:24 PM
You don't need to read minds if you've been reading online discussions like this one way too long, and keep watching the pompous bumper-sticker sloganeering devolve down to detailed defenses. It all sounds so good in six words or less... not quite so appetizing when the sloganeer is forced to spell out exactly what they think it means. I'll stand by my "translation" above. Haven't met a "small governmenter" yet who didn't already have his/hers.
Rocky January 15, 2012 at 09:31 PM
@SPF. You are partly correct. Yes we know Malloy raised taxes, one of 2 Guv's that did. The state unions are irritated that the so called shared sacrifices applied to only the union workers. Supervisors in the state depts. got to keep their longevity payments. Most state union propaganda is anti Malloy. Dannel's propaganda is wearing thin, so he is being resourceful. That is if you consider adopting others ideas as resourceful. It is also quite short of creative.
WC January 16, 2012 at 12:33 AM
Malvi - Please explain to Jim G. what goverment or services you don't care for that would be eliminated. We hear all to often the "smaller government" sound byte but no plan from the conservative right on what to cut. I will get you started the EPA, Department of Education.........
Andrew Ziemba January 19, 2012 at 02:13 AM
Online poker should be completely legalized, free of taxation, and there should be absolutely zero government involvement in the matter. Anyhow, regardless of if taxes are going up or down, or if people are making more or less, what matters most is "How much is my dollar worth?" As it is now inflation is running rampant. Anyone who knows anything about economics can tell you that inflation is the worst kind of tax because it is a SILENT tax, and it effects the POOR the most.

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