Raise A Glass, Mayors Urge Lifting Of Sunday Booze Ban–Malloy To Meet With Mayors


What say you? Should we be allowed to purchase Sunday suds? The mayors of Bridgeport, New Haven and Hartford say bring it on! Why? They’d love the extra moolah Sunday sales is projected to generate. The bill to approve Sunday sales is a hot topic this week in the General Assembly. Governor Dannel Malloy is scheduled to meet with the mayors Wednesday afternoon.


Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Assembly convened:

Section 1. Subsection (d) of section 30-91 of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective October 1, 2011):

(d) The sale or dispensing of alcoholic liquor in places operating under package store permits, drug store permits, manufacturer permits for beer or grocery store beer permits shall be unlawful on Decoration Day, Independence Day, Labor Day, Thanksgiving Day, New Year’s Day [, Sunday] or Christmas [or, if Independence Day, Christmas or New Year’s Day occurs on a Sunday, on the Monday next following such day] except that such sale or dispensing shall be lawful on any Independence Day occurring on a Saturday; and such sale or dispensing of alcoholic liquor in places operating under package store permits, drug store permits, manufacturer permits for beer and grocery store beer permits shall be unlawful on any other day before eight o’clock a.m. and after nine o’clock p.m. It shall be unlawful for the holder of a manufacturing permit for a brew pub to sell beer for consumption off the premises on the days or hours prohibited by this subsection. Any town may, by a vote of a town meeting or by ordinance, reduce the number of hours during which such sale shall be permissible. The sale or dispensing of alcoholic liquor on Sunday in places operating under a package store permit shall be at the option of the holder of such permit.

New release from mayors:

Connecticut’s ‘Big Three’ Mayors Finch, DeStefano and Segarra Call for Sunday Alcohol Sales

Allowing Sunday Sales Would Yield $8 Million Annually in Incremental Dollars To Dedicate To Critical Government Programs

The mayors of Connecticut’s “Big Three” cities – Bridgeport, New Haven and Hartford – today called upon the state legislature and Governor Dannel Malloy to lift the state’s ban of Sunday alcohol sales.

With Connecticut in the midst of one of the worst economic recessions in its history, the mayors are imploring the state’s legislators to use their legislative authority to lift the Sunday sales ban in order to save critical government programs. According to a recent report by the Legislative Program Review and Investigations Committee[1], the state could see an increase of up to $8 million in revenue in the year following the repeal.

“The Connecticut legislature has the power to bring an additional $8 million annually at a time when we desperately need the money. If our legislators simply lifted this age-old ban on Sunday alcohol sales, our financially struggling state could stop bleeding business – and sending tax revenue – to stores in neighboring states,” said Bridgeport Mayor Bill Finch.

According to the report, sales in Connecticut towns along a state border were 35 percent to 43 percent lower than sales in Connecticut towns not along a border.

New Haven Mayor John DeStefano Jr. stated, “2011 is a year when we have to start doing things differently. Allowing Sunday liquor sales will generate sales and excise tax revenues Connecticut that have the power to save vital programs that are currently on the chopping block.”

Hartford Mayor Pedro E. Segarra continued, “Repealing the Sunday Sales ban is a common sense move whose time has come. Recent states to enact Sunday Sales laws not only saw their tax revenue increase, but also saw no adverse effects in regards to public safety.”

Currently Connecticut is one of only three states in the nation that does not allow beer, wine and liquor to be sold on Sundays at off-premise establishments.



  1. I liked it when Lenny Paoletta pulled out the Sambuca, when Tom Bucci cracked open the cognac, when Joe Ganim uncorked the wine (okay okay, so I provided some of the vino) in the after-hours glow of the mayor’s office. Of course, when I was a young scribe at the Bridgeport Post-Telegram we didn’t care if cocktail hour lasted ’til dawn. Who was gonna write about it if we got caught?

    1. And it did last until dawn at Sol’s.

      Re: Fleeta Hudson discussion over this past weekend.

      Hudson should give Finch a Fleets Enema after the way Bill and his Wooden Soldiers have been shitting on her over these last 3+ years.

  2. *** The more money the state gets, the more they’ll spend foolishly, no? Besides it’s not like the seventh day of sabbath means anything any more & news of more & more DWI accidents & deaths are a myth? (Kali Time) *** Back to Basics ***

  3. Mojo // Feb 8, 2011 at 9:36 pm
    To your posting

    Would this also be one of the biggest dollar infusions from one source?
    Is this legislation also offering an optional consumer participation as opposed to an across-the-board “everyone must be taxed” type of legislative action?

    1. *** Another money infusion like the casinos, no? Urban cities are sure enjoying that money spout coming in, not! Besides all bets are on for future across-the-board taxes to come in different ways! *** Everyone must feel the pain of the tax voodoo doll. ***

  4. Commerce is commerce. There is no reason why archaic Puritan-inspired “Blue Laws” should remain on the books. Next step … wine sold in grocery stores.

    Seriously, this provides additional revenue at a time when revenue sources in CT are dwindling.

    Store owners are not obligated to open?

  5. I have a better idea for closing the deficit rather than opening up liquor sales on Sunday. Why don’t we send the state Tom Sherwood, Mayor Flinch, Bob Curwen and the entire common council to Hartford, after all look how fast our $8 million deficit disappeared.

  6. My wife just reminded me about Paramus NJ. Local ordinance forbids retail stores to be open on Sundays, with some exceptions. Malls are closed. IKEA is closed. The state and city are screaming at the tops of their lungs to repeal this stupidity. The loss in sales tax revenue, wages and resulting payroll taxes is astonishing. 3 so-called “Episcopal-ic-etarian-ists” are the perennial blocking force. It is their contention that the Lord wants that day of rest. Lord … and Taylor take exception.

    Any application of olde Puritan-influenced Blue Law mandated closing is just plain wrong and inconsistent with a free choice in commerce society.

  7. I don’t have the answers for many questions that are posed. That’s why I like to listen, especially to those who come forward with facts and logical assessments of a situation. After digesting the info, many times new questions get raised and the entire proposal is seen in a new light.

    * Do I have sufficient and convenient alternatives for purchasing beer, wine and/or other alcoholic beverages at this time? YES.

    * Will Sunday opportunities for those beverages to be purchased from off-premise providers change my purchasing behavior? Not likely and not often.

    * When Sunday sales are permitted, will the extra taxes be raised? I doubt they will materialize at all but it is certainly the time to offer such a prospect to the public and there is no risk to an administrator or legislator if it does not come true, is there?

    * Do I believe this is a consumer-friendly bill or is it something else? For the most part, I think it is the latter. A fight by larger retailers against mom and pop liquor shops that dot our landscape has been ongoing in CT for years. The bill has been repackaged for 2011.

    * What are the implications for taxpayers in Bridgeport? We are likely to see some small store failures. These are stores that support property taxes to the City.

    * Will new tenants be found easily? Or will additional boarded-up windows cry out for revitalization that often seems so distant? Your turn … got some alternative answers or ideas?

    1. All five of the corner Italian grocery stores in the small neighborhood in which I grew up have been boarded for the past 30 years. Not one has had a tenant move in during that entire time. Your point is sadly inevitable but well taken.

  8. No question that very small Mom & Pops will suffer much in the same way the corner grocery stores fell off the map when supermarkets came into the picture. So be it. That is the way of commerce. We cannot sustain or enact legislation that will effect only small liquor store owners.

    Personally, I can’t see a huge rise in consumption because of one more day of availability. Convenience is a factor. I can buy on Sunday what I otherwise would have bought on Saturday. Big Deal. The small stores who think it will be a burden should stay home.

  9. The Oracle of Omaha Steaks!

    Package stores up until the early ’60s were open until 11:00 pm. The hours were changed because of a guy named Mad Dog Taborksi who had killed a package store owner late at night. The hours were reduced to 8:00 pm and then expanded a few years ago to 9:00 pm. Consumers are highly trainable and I doubt they do much business in that extra hour.

    Blue Laws are no longer in place and I believe in a free-market system. Off-premise permittees could stay open on Sunday and close on a Monday (the slowest day of the week).

    In the late ’70s the fair trade law on alcohol pricing was abolished. This fair trade pricing guaranteed minimum markup on beer (17%), spirits (23%) and wine (33%). These minimum markups also guaranteed the state higher sales tax revenues.

    Presently there are minimum bottle price laws in effect that have brought about lower pricing but better buying opportunities for permittees through post-off prices.

    However, beer may be and is sold at the wholesale price. This for many stores and especially the grocery stores is used as a loss leader item to produce traffic. If a 10% minimum markup were placed on beer this would increase sales tax revenue significantly.

    Additionally the permit fees for grocery and packaged store permits have not been raised in over 50 years.

    1. Yahooy and Warren, thank you. You are prompt confirmation of the actual knowledge, experience and judgment available in the OIB blogosphere that I referenced in a message above.

      If any of you are in service or retail businesses, have your State fees for licenses, franchise operation, etc. remained level for the last 50 years? I would bet not. As the number of off-premise locations close, there will be lower total revenues to the State unless a change is made.

      Therefore, if Sunday-open option is favored by the Legislature in 2011 and no additional booze is actually sold, the tax revenue gain touted is illusory and the license revenue decreases as the number of outlets reduce, the State actually loses!!! “What a revolting situation that would be!!!”

  10. Is this the biggest non-story of the year?
    First of all who gives a damn what Finch, DeStefano and Segarra have to say on this issue?
    And why do they feel they have to say anything?
    They are not border cities so the change in the law will not impact their municipalities at all.
    There may be more revenue in the state piggy bank but that doesn’t mean this money will go to the cities.
    So my question is who put them up to this and why?
    And besides, if Finch really wants to help out Malloy with his budget problems just tell him to put in the budget “unspecified labor concessions” $3.5 billion. Then Malloy can move on to his next problem.

  11. Sounds like Chris is going to be on roller skates. He is now just one of the many low-level functionaries employed by the state. I will bet that after the mayor’s election Caruso will be on the unemployment lines. Chris, you made a bad move. By this time next year it’s over. I thought you were smarter than that.

  12. As a low-level employee Chris will NOT report to the head of that department, trust me. It’s doubtful if he will report to Murphy the #2 guy. Chris will be reporting to some low-level middle management type. You can take that to the bank.


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