Package store lobbyist says he won't oppose Sunday sales of proposed liquor law overhaul

State Capitol Police handle a crowd spilling into a hallway after the room reaches the capacity for public hearing retail alcohol sales on Sundays at the Legislative Office Building in Hartford Tuesday, Feb. 28, 2012.
State Capitol Police handle a crowd spilling into a hallway after the room reaches the capacity for public hearing retail alcohol sales on Sundays at the Legislative Office Building in Hartford Tuesday, Feb. 28, 2012. Jessica Hill/AP Photo

Hartford - The push to end Connecticut's ban on Sunday alcohol sales gained significant momentum this afternoon when the chief lobbyist of the state's package stores association told lawmakers that he will not oppose the Sunday sales portion of the Malloy administration's proposed liquor law overhaul.

"I've suggested we support that," Carroll Hughes, executive director of the Connecticut Package Stores Association, said during a public hearing of the legislature's General Law Committee.

The package stores association has long been opposed to ending the Sunday sales prohibition.

However, Hughes said the association is still opposed to parts of the governor's bill that would relax price controls and ownership requirements.

The first public hearing this year began at 11 a.m. Tuesday on a bill that would allow Sunday retail sales of alcohol and change various pricing and ownership rules for package stores

An estimated 350 people gathered around the north steps of the Capitol to cheer passage of the bill. That rally was organized by the business and labor-backed End Connecticut's Blue Laws Coalition.

Meanwhile, another hundred or so people opposed to the bill gathered in the atrium of the Legislative Office Building. The two groups soon crowded together inside to await the start of today's public hearing before the General Law Committee.

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