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Senate Leaders Say They Won't Challenge Sunday Alcohol Sales

The House is poised to debate a lifting of Indiana's ban on Sunday alcohol sales, and Senate leaders say they won't stand in the way if it gets that far.

Bills to allow Sunday sales have never made it to the Senate floor, but President Pro Tem David Long, R-Fort Wayne, says he doesn't have a problem with the change.

He says the fact that Indiana is the only state left which bans retail alcohol sales on Sunday makes it harder to mount an argument against it.

"Indiana allows restaurants and taverns to sell, so it's not like you can't get alcohol on Sundays," Long says. "That's unusual compared to some other states, who don't allow that but do allow retail stores to sell."

But he cautions there's no guarantee the bill will pass. He says there are senators in both parties who are dead set against it.

House Public Policy Chairman Tom Dermody, R-LaPorte, has introduced a bill which would allow Sunday sales, but only during limited hours.

Long says further changes are possible, including requiring supermarkets to completely wall off their alcohol sections so minors can't enter.

The Sunday sales ban has been a long-running fight at the legislature, pitting supermarkets on one side and liquor stores on the other. Package stores contend that they can't compete with the muscle of big-box scores if they have to compete seven days a week.

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