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What do I want? Beer. When do I want it? On Sundays.
Quinnipiac students are all too aware of the archaic and outdated laws that govern alcohol sales in Connecticut. No sales after 9 p.m., no sales on Sundays and no sales on Mondays after holidays.
Something that all Quinnipiac students may not be familiar with is the proposal by Gov. Dannel Malloy to change those policies and bring Connecticut into the 21st century in this regard. Bordering states, actually 48 other states, permit alcohol sales on Sundays.
This law is anchored in a religious tradition that has no place as an official government policy. The law assumes that the Christian populous needs that day to dedicate their time to God. This outdated policy has no problem with alcohol sales on the Jewish Sabbath. Nor does it care if adamantly non-religious people, like me, want to purchase alcohol on Sunday. Nor does it allow individual Christian citizens to make decisions on their own on how to spend their supposed day of rest.
The website EndCTBlueLaws.org touts endorsements from half a dozen Connecticut newspapers and 10 different alcohol industry groups. The Connecticut Post calls the Sunday ban “a musty custom that makes about as much sense today as declaring a sneezing fit the sign of a witch.”
A person can go to a grocery store and buy just about anything they want on any day of the week. Conceptually it makes no sense to not to be able to buy alcohol every day of the week.
You can purchase alcohol on Sundays in Massachusetts, and that means Connecticut consumers drive over the border and take their money out of the state. The governor’s proposal cites industry estimates that the amount of money being lost across the border could be $570 million in sales.
Connecticut Package Stores Association member Mike Cimini, who owns two package stores in Connecticut and two in Massachusetts, says the lifting of the Sunday ban in Massachusetts did not do much to change business. He told Shaken News Daily, a wine, spirit and beer news website, “All it did was divide six days’ worth of sales into seven.”
Senior Brian Meyers of Enfield, Conn. crosses over the border for beer on Sundays. He thinks that his money could be better spent stimulating his home state’s economy.
“I see why small business owners think it wouldn’t increase business, but right now they’re just losing those customers over the border,” Meyers said.
Gov. Malloy’s proposal would also get rid of the current unnecessary government intrusion into free markets by eliminating the policy of industry minimum pricing. This would allow distributors and retailers to offer sales to differentiate themselves, attract customers and, in the end, make alcohol more easily accessible and cheaper. This is something that everybody should sign on to support.
Go to EndCTBlueLaws.org, click “Take Action” and email your congressmen. You live in Connecticut for a majority of the year, you are counted in the U.S. Census here and you should be registered to vote here. All of that should leave you at least semi-interested in the legislative workings of Connecticut.
If my plea to be an engaged and concerned citizen does not make you want to take action, then do it so you can buy beer whenever you want.