Debate over Sunday liquor sales bill continues, sent back to subcommittee

Debate over Sunday liquor sales bill continues, sent back to subcommittee

COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) - James Robert Thomason has owned his liquor store since 2002.

Right now, Thomason’s Wine and Liquor, just like any other liquor store in the state, keeps their doors closed on Sundays. He believes liquor sales should be allowed on Sundays in South Carolina.

“If a bar or restaurant can sell it after 7 p.m. and on Sundays, then a liquor store should be able to,” Thomason said.

In South Carolina, liquor can be sold Monday through Saturday from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. A bill filed in the House wants to give voters the option to allow the sale of liquor in some counties.

The bill would let local municipalities in certain counties create an ordinance or referendum to allow liquor to be sold on Sundays from 12 p.m. to 7 p.m.

The counties impacted by the bill must generate $1.5 million in accommodation taxes revenue. A House Judiciary Committee voted to amend the bill, which was originally set at $1 million.

The House Judiciary Committee debated the bill Tuesday afternoon. Some lawmakers say small liquor stores have contacted them and told them they had concerns about the bill. The stores said they are worried about competing with bigger retailers on Sundays and they enjoy having the day off.

Thomason said he would like to see a few changes made to the bill.

“Instead of certain counties, allow every county to decide for themselves. Doesn’t matter where they are. Even if it’s not a tourist city, it should be up to be people.”

During the committee, amendments were proposed by lawmakers. Ultimately, the committee voted to send the bill back to subcommittee.

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