Batesville Herald Tribune, Batesville, Indiana

State News

January 24, 2012

Sunday alcohol sales unlikely


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“I'm not convinced that it is,” Davis said Wednesday.

At a press conference last fall, influential state Sen. Phil Boots of Crawfordsville, who carried the bill in the Senate, predicted the legislation would be seen as a “slam-dunk public policy issue.”

He had to roll back that prediction last week when he told reporters that he'd been told by Senate leaders that his bill wouldn't see the light of day.

Davissaid he'd been reluctant to hear the bill for several reasons. A fiscal impact statement prepared by the Legislative Services Agency – the non-partisan research arm of the legislature – estimated any tax revenues generated by Sunday alcohol sales would be minimal.

LSA concluded that consumers would just be shifting their buying habits, not buying more: “(A)ny impact on sales and Sales Tax and Alcoholic Beverage Tax revenue will likely be mitigated by a shift from other taxable items,” the statement reads.

Davissaid his decision was sealed this week after he had to cancel a House public policy committee hearing due to an unrelated walkout by House Democrats protesting the “right to work” bill. Davis said that's left him with at least 16 bills that need to go through his committee before a late-January deadline for committee hearings.

The House has been officially out of session for six of 11 days this month because a majority of House Democrats have failed to show for quorum votes. They oppose legislation that would outlaw mandatory union dues for private sector workers. 

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