Rhode Island Legislature Passes Bill Allowing Sunday Liquor Sales Year-Round -- RI poised to become 4th New England State in past year to repeal Blue Laws

June 24, 2004 08:00 PM
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Legislation permitting Rhode Island package store owners to sell liquor products seven days a week, year-round, passed the legislature late today, according to the Distilled Spirits Council of the United States. “Year-round Sunday sales will bring shoppers more convenience, retailers more business opportunities and the state more tax revenue,” said Peter Cressy, President of the Distilled Spirits Council of the United States, the trade association for the nation’s distillers supporting the change. Under the legislation, sponsored by Rep. Todd Brien (D-Woonsocket) and Senator Roger Badeau (D-Woonsocket), distilled spirits, beer and wine could be sold on Sundays throughout the year. Last year, Rhode Island passed a law permitting retailers to open on Sundays only during the December holiday, while nearby Massachusetts and New York passed laws permitting year-round Sunday sales. During a hearing last March, Distilled Spirits Council Vice President David Wojnar testified that passing year-round Sunday sales could generate up to $1.5 million in new tax revenue for the state. “The trend to eliminate outdated Sunday sales prohibitions has swept from coast to coast,” said Cressy pointing out that within the past two years, the Sunday sales bans have been rolled back in Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, New York, Delaware, Virginia, Ohio, Idaho, Kansas and Oregon bringing the total number to 31. “States are recognizing the many consumer and economic benefits that result from modernizing the marketplace.” The Distilled Spirits Council is the trade association representing producers and marketers of distilled spirits sold in the United States. http://www.distilledspirits.org CONTACT: Frank Coleman or Lisa Hawkins Telephone: 202-682-8840 SCROLLER Publication Name: Publication Author:


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