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No go for Sunday alcohol bill

A measure that would have allowed West Virginia stores to sell liquor on Sunday — and allowed bars and restaurants to begin serving alcohol at 10 a.m. instead of 1 p.m. — won’t be considered this session.

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — The bill to ease limits on alcohol sales on Sundays in West Virginia will not get approval from state lawmakers during this year’s Regular Legislative Session.

The proposal, HB 2946, was moved off the calendar for the House of Delegates on Wednesday, the last day a bill could come out of the chamber where it originated to keep moving at the State Capitol.

Jefferson County Delegate Stephen Skinner was the lead sponsor of the bill. “I don’t care whether you drink or not, but we shouldn’t arbitrarily be choosing a time to prevent a business from selling what they sell,” he said prior to the vote.

Alcoholic drink sales are only allowed after 1 p.m. on Sundays at bars and restaurants in West Virginia. At stores, purchases of beer and wine are permitted after 1 p.m. on Sundays, but liquor sales are prohibited all day.

Skinner’s bill would have allowed for liquor sales in stores on Sundays and moved up the Sunday sale and serving hour to 10 a.m. at other locations.

Skinner said the measure would have helped West Virginia’s tourism and hospitality industry, those who must continually deny alcohol orders from tourists and others before 1 p.m. on Sundays.

“Do the blue laws get people to go to church? The answer, I think we all know, is no,” Skinner said. “Nobody is not going to go to church just because alcohol is being served starting at 10 a.m.”

This year’s Regular Legislative Session ends on Saturday, April 13.





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