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Massachusetts liquor stores move closer to earlier Sunday hours

A bill allowing state liquor stores to open up before noon on Sundays has been approved by both the state House and Senate.

boston liquor bottles liquor store alcohol Liquor stores may soon be able to open earlier on Sundays.
Credit: Nicolaus Czarnecki, Metro file photo

Getting a bottle of champagne for Sunday mimosas or picking up a last-minute six pack before the Sunday afternoon Patriots game may soon be a little easier.

A bill that would allow Massachusetts liquor stores to open at 10 a.m. on Sundays, two hours before the currently allowed time of noon, was approved by the state Senate on Tuesday. The measure was approved by the House in March.

While the bill still needs one more round of votes by both chambers before it goes before Gov. Deval Patrick, those who sponsored the legislation are optimistic it will pass.

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"We have eliminated so many Sunday 'blue laws' at this point, why are we hanging on to some of them where it really has become an economy issue," said state Rep. Elizabeth Poirier of North Attleboro.

Poirier and fellow state representative Steven Howitt of Seekonk sponsored the bill. Both said it was motivated in part by economics.

"It was bringing people out of the state," said Howitt.

The legislators said people would go to bordering states to not only pick up their alcohol on Sunday morning, but would also buy other items outside of Massachusetts while running the errand.

"Whether people are going out to the beach for the day or the Patriots game, whatever event is going on, why should they have to wait until noon time to make their purchases and enjoy their day," said Poirier. "It doesn't make sense."

In 2010, a measure was passed that allowed restaurants to begin serving alcohol at 10 a.m., but that bill did not apply to liquor stores.

Follow Michael Naughton on Twitter @metrobosmike.

 
 
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