The General Law Committee voted to kill an amendment Tuesday which would have allowed package stores to stay open on Sunday.
The amendment proposed by Sen. John Kissel, a Republican, and Rep. Kathy Tallarita, a Democrat, from Enfield was defeated by a voice vote after the committee voted 13 to 2 not to hold a roll call vote on the measure.
Kissel told his colleagues he doesn’t understand why Connecticut would impose a limitation on one business and not others, while Tallarita argued there’s revenue to be had by supporting the legislation.
Tallarita argued Sunday sales of alcohol is a matter the Finance, Revenue, and Bonding Committee deserves to hear. The bill never made it onto the last General Law Committee agenda and left Tallarita and Kissel scrambling to find a vehicle to move it forward.
Sen. Paul Doyle, co-chairman of the General Law Committee, said there will be other opportunities down the road for Sunday sales to be discussed.
Rep. Joseph Taborsak, the other co-chairman of the General Law Committee, said the legislation received a full hearing, which left questions in many lawmakers minds about how much money would actually be realized by the passage of such legislation.
He said he also disagreed with the manner upon which the issue was being forced for a vote.
It’s possible the legislation could be resurrected at a later point as an amendment to another piece of legislation, but Carroll Hughes, the lobbyist for the Connecticut Package Store Association said he’s certain it won’t be as part of the budget.
An opponent of Sunday sales Hughes was happy the committee defeated the legislation, but there are likely to be a lot of unhappy Connecticut voters if the Quinnipiac University poll released last week is accurate.
The poll found support for Sunday sales has increased at least 10 percentage points since last year.
Voters want to buy liquor on Sunday and support 66 – 31 percent allowing liquor stores to open on Sunday. This is the highest level of support ever for this question, up from 56 – 39 percent March 18, 2010.