LEGISLATIVE COMMITTEE KILLS SUNDAY LIQUOR SALES BUT DOESN’T GO ON THE RECORD OR CONSIDER A STAND-ALONE BILL

In the world of the state legislature, sometimes the real story (not to be confused with FOX-CT’s “The Real Story” which The Shad often co-hosts) is in the procedure. In the case of the proposal to allow the sale of alcohol on Sundays in Connecticut, regardless of the side one might be on, the process was ugly and weak.

The general law committee defeated an amendment offered by state Sen. John Kissel (R-Enfield) to allow so-called “Sunday sales” on a voice vote. But as the Connecticut Post’s Ken Dixon points out, members avoided being officially on record with their vote because there was no roll call. Kissel asked for one but a roll call to have a roll call failed. For real.

Prior to that, the decision was made by committee co-chairs Sen. Paul Doyle (D-Wethersfield) and Rep. Joe Taborsak (D-Danbury) not to place a stand-alone Sunday sales bill on the committee agenda at all, hence the necessity of Kissel’s amendment. The Hartford Courant’s Capitol Watch Blog has more on that.

In any event, nothing is ever dead in the legislative session until it ends. Those of us who have worked there for years have seen even the most obscure bill pull a Lazerus because a single legislator supported it. So you can be sure there will be an attempt to bring Sunday sales as an amendment to another bill.

On the issue itself, there still has been no explanation as to why this particular industry needs government protection. Walmart has a pharmacy. Does that mean we should mandate the closing of pharmacies on Sunday because smaller, individual pharmacies would be in danger? And that’s not to mention the plethora of Connecticut license plates in parking lots of packies in Massachusetts, Rhode Island and New York on any given Sunday.

But it’s not like we need the tax revenue or anything.