Providence, R.I., March10, 2004 – In testimony today before the Rhode Island House Corporations Committee, the Distilled Spirits Council (DISCUS) urged legislators to pass a bill permitting year-round Sunday sales of spirits, stating it will result in “greater convenience for Rhode Island shoppers, more opportunities for retailers and increased revenue for the state.” Under HB 7418, sponsored by Rep. Todd Brien (D-Woonsocket), distilled spirits, beer and wine could be sold on Sundays throughout the year. Last year, Rhode Island passed a law permitting retailers to open on Sundays only during the December holiday, while nearby Massachusetts and New York passed laws permitting year-round Sunday sales. Distilled Spirits Council Vice President David Wojnar, citing a DISCUS economic analysis, testified that Rhode Island stands to lose $1.2 million annually as a result of cross border sales to Massachusetts. He added that passing year-round Sunday sales could generate up to $1.5 million in new tax revenue for Rhode Island. “Many Rhode Island package store owners are fed up with having to close their doors on Sundays while neighboring Massachusetts retailers reap all the benefits,” said Wojnar. “Rhode Island package store owners deserve the same opportunity to compete for Sunday shoppers.” Wojnar pointed out that 27 states now permit Sunday spirits sales and many other states — including Connecticut, Ohio, Idaho, Kansas, Washington and Virginia — are considering the measure as an innovative way to raise revenue without raising taxes. “Positive results in recent Sunday sales states makes it clear that Rhode Island will increase its revenue and package stores – both large and small – will increase their sales,” said Wojnar. Wojnar stated that since passing Sunday sales, New York’s sales are up 8 percent, Pennsylvania’s sales are up 9 percent, Delaware’s sales are up 12 percent and Oregon’s sales are up 6 percent. “Sunday sales have been so successful because it meets the needs of today’s modern consumer. The opportunity for leisurely and convenient shopping on the weekend has made Sunday the second busiest shopping day of the week,” said Wojnar. “It’s time to give Rhode Island’s consumers a break by providing them this same shopping convenience.” The Distilled Spirits Council of the United States is the national trade association representing producers and marketers of distilled spirits sold in the United States. Located in Washington, D.C., the Council is led by Dr. Peter H. Cressy, the former Chancellor of UMass Dartmouth.