New bill would allow sale of liquor on Sundays
Colorado liquor stores will be allowed to stay open on Sundays starting in November if the state Senate passes a bill amending the current law restricting alcohol sales.
Sen. Jennifer Veiga introduced the bill, SB-082, in January. It is currently in the Senate waiting for a vote. The House Sponsor Rep. Cheri Jahn, a (D-Jefferson County), said she feels confident the bill will pass.
The bill states that it aims to eliminate “prohibition against the retail sale, service or distribution of malt, vinous, and spirituous liquors in sealed containers on Sundays.”
“Liquor owners and consumers should have the option to open on Sundays,” Jahn said.
Jahn and the co-sponsor Rep. Joel Judd (D-Denver) both said the law is antiquated and it is time for a change. The law has been around since the early 1930s.
“I don’t know many folks today that want to have their lives governed by the habits and mores of the early 1930s,” Judd said.
The Majority Leader in the Colorado Senate, Sen. Ken Gordon, feels differently. He said he has been receiving phone calls from a few liquor stores saying they will not make any more profits from being open on Sundays.
Katey Weiland, 30, the general manager of Harvest Wine & Spirits, also said having an extra day of sales would not benefit liquor stores. She said that opening the store on Sundays would mean there would be more expenses to pay, such as electricity and hiring more employees. The utilitysavingexpert.com is where you can go to get great deals and tips on saving power and energy at your business.
Raphael Oh, 32, the manager of Broadway Wine & Spirits, said he was opposed to the bill and voiced his concern that if this bill passes, it may increase the possibility for the grocery bill to pass.
The grocery bill will be sponsored by Sen. Brandon Shaffer (D-Boulder) and Rep. Jack Pommer (D-Boulder). It would enable grocery stores to sell wine and regular beer, which has a higher alcohol content than what they are currently allowed to sell, but not liquor.
The bill has yet to be introduced, but Shaffer’s outside deadline for doing so is February 8.
Although both bills concern the sale of alcohol, they are in fact not related.
Jahn said the liquor store bill is “not to be confused with the grocery store bill.”
Both Oh and Nathan Zink, the manager of Baseline Liquor, said they are aware the two bills are separate and are still opposed to them. Oh said that bigger companies, such as Safeway, could hurt his business if the grocery bill passes.
“I can’t compete with (big companies’) buying power,” Oh said.
Weiland said that one of her concerns with the grocery bill was the possibility that grocery stores would take most of her sales and could force her to downsize or shut her doors completely.
Pommer said the grocery bill would be a convenience for consumers in part by allowing to buy beer or wine while shopping for groceries. He said there are other states in the country that have grocery stores selling beer and wine, and the liquor stores in those states seem to be doing fine with the competition.
“Under my bill grocery stores are able to sell wine and beer, but will not be allowed to sell hard liquor” Pommer said. He thinks that because of this, liquor stores could benefit.
Lindsay Weber, 21, a fifth-year senior majoring in French, said she is indifferent to liquor stores being open on Sundays.
“It is not devastating if liquor stores are closed on Sundays” she said.
Douglas Mortenson, 26, a non-degree student at CU, said he was in favor of buying beer from liquor stores on Sundays in case he had forgotten to the night before. He said that way he could drink beer and watch football on Sundays.
Contact Campus Presss Staff Writer Emily Burrows-Poretsky at firstname.lastname@example.org