DISCUS

PURITAN MASSACHUSETTS BURIES BLUE LAWS -- Governor Romney Signs Sunday Liquor Sales Bill

November 25, 2003 07:00 PM
BOSTON, November 26, 2003 – With the stroke of his pen today, Governor Mitt Romney brought the Puritan state into the 21st Century, striking down the ban on Sunday alcohol sales, one of the last vestiges of the Prohibition era, according to the Distilled Spirits Council. “Here in Massachusetts -- the Mother of all Blue Laws -- the Sunday sales prohibition is finally history,” said Distilled Spirits Council Peter Cressy President, whose organization lobbied aggressively in support of the change. “Consumers and retailers will no longer be bound by Blue Laws of a bygone era, while the state will gain new revenue.” Under the new law, which goes into effect immediately, package stores throughout the state will be permitted to open on Sunday all year round. Since 1990, package stores in Massachusetts have been permitted to open on the Sunday after Thanksgiving through New Year’s Day, or year-round if they were located within 10 miles of the New Hampshire and Vermont borders. “It is clear to me that the extension of Sunday sales will reap untold benefits upon businesses, employees, consumers and the Commonwealth,” said Rep. Daniel E. Bosley, House Chairman of the Joint Committee on Government Regulations. “Enactment of this legislation will help us retain untold millions in tax revenue that we are currently losing to our neighboring states both in the form of alcohol sales on Sunday as well as sales incidental to the purchase of alcohol on Sunday.” Massachusetts Joins Growing List of States Liberalizing Liquor Laws Massachusetts is the sixth state in the last year and a half to approve Sunday sales expansions, as states nationwide reconsider their antiquated, Prohibition-era liquor laws. Other states that have rolled back Blue Laws include New York, Delaware, Pennsylvania, Oregon and Rhode Island (during holiday season). With the 70th anniversary of Prohibition repeal approaching on Dec. 5, states are modernizing these laws to provide consumers more convenience and states more tax revenue. Twenty-seven states now permit the sale of spirits on Sunday. The Distilled Spirits Council of the United States (DISCUS) is the national trade association representing producers and marketers of distilled spirits sold in the United States. Located in Washington, D.C., DISCUS is led by Dr. Peter H. Cressy, the former Chancellor of UMass Dartmouth. CONTACT: Frank Coleman or Lisa Hawkins Telephone: 202-682-8840 SCROLLER Publication Name: Publication Author:
 

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