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Connecticut: Sunday Alcohol Sales Could Save Millions in "Plan B" Cuts

–Distilled Spirits Council identifies several programs Sunday sales could save from extinction–
Source: DISCUS
May 12th
Repealing Connecticut’s outdated ban on Sunday alcohol sales could generate as much as $8 million in new revenue for the state, which according to the Distilled Spirits Council is revenue that could protect several other important programs from being cut in Governor Malloy’s “Plan B” budget proposal.
“Sunday sales would create jobs for package store owners while also saving jobs destined for extinction from harsh budget cuts,” said Council Vice President Jay Hibbard. “It’s irresponsible for lawmakers not to exhaust the positive revenue-raising options before resorting to such harsh cuts.”
Of the 22-page “Plan B” proposal presented by Governor Malloy to the Legislature, the Council identified several examples of funding for programs that could be saved if Sunday alcohol sales were adopted, including: community health funding, public safety funding and education funding. Specifically, the Council cited any one of the following cuts as examples:
Eliminate restored funding for Community Health Centers (-$7M)
Eliminate Police and Fire Training Services (-$8.3M)
Eliminate funding for the After School Program (-$9M)
The council also highlighted funding cuts to the arts and the environment, for which Sunday sales could mitigate, including:
Suspend funding for Basic Cultural Resources, etc.(-$8M)
Eliminate several fish hatcheries (-$4.9M)
Elimination of funding for Underground Storage Tank program (-$2.3M)
“It’s the duty of the Governor and state legislators to provide adequate funding and support for Connecticut’s important programs,” Hibbard said. “How can you justify leaving millions of dollars on the table when you’re making cuts to all these critical areas?”
Hibbard noted that Connecticut remains one of only two states in the entire nation that continues to prohibit Sunday alcohol sales of beer, wine and distilled spirits. Georgia passed local option Sunday sales legislation in April to become the latest in a national trend of states (15 states since 2002) to pass Sunday alcohol sales.