PENNSYLVANIA GOVERNOR SIGNS INTO LAW SUNDAY LIQUOR SALES
WASHINGTON— Pennsylvania Gov. Mark Schweiker signed into law on Monday, December 9, an historic bill allowing Sunday sales of distilled spirits in some of the state’s liquor stores, according to the Distilled Spirits Council of the United States. The law, which goes into effect in 60 days, makes Pennsylvania the 24th state to permit Sunday sales. “This law will result in more convenience for consumers and more revenue for the state,” said Peter Cressy, President of the Distilled Spirits Council, the trade association for the nation’s distillers supporting the change. “Arcane Blue Laws from the 1930’s have no place in our modern society where Sunday has become the second busiest shopping day of the week.” Under the law, the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board can open up to 10 percent of the state’s 630 liquor stores for spirits sales on Sunday for a two year period. The legislation also allows state stores to conduct spirits and wine tastings. With state after state facing huge budget shortfalls, a growing number of states are re-examining the rationale behind outdated Sunday sales prohibitions and other Blue Law restrictions as a way to benefit consumers while at the same time raising much needed revenues. Most recently, Oregon passed a law in February permitting Sunday sales of liquor and other states, including New York, Virginia, Washington and Delaware, are also considering modernizing their Sunday sales laws. The Pennsylvania legislation generated positive editorials from across the state and had broad support, including the Pennsylvania Restaurant Association and the United Food and Commercial Workers Local 1776 in Philadelphia, which represents the majority of state Wine and Spirits Shoppe clerks.