(KCPW News) Utah liquor stores could be opening their doors a few more days in the coming year. Monday, the House of Representatives passed a bill sponsored by Democratic Representative Patrice Arent aimed at keeping select liquor stores open on certain holidays.
“What we are talking about are holidays like Martin Luther King’s birthday, Presidents Day, Columbus Day, days that are typical retail days where people shop and they expect to be able to shop at a liquor store too,” she says.
Arent says although her original bill was amended to keep more prominent holidays like New Year’s Day and the Fourth of July out of the bill, several lawmakers still expressed concern over the potential for overconsumption.
“You don’t see the state deciding to close liquor stores on days where they’re worried about drunk driving. If that happened to be the case, maybe we wouldn’t be open on New Year’s Eve or St. Patrick’s Day or on partying days. I don’t see Columbus Day as a partying day,” says Arent. “I don’t see Martin Luther King’s birthday as a partying day. I think these are just normal retail days, and Utah is in the business of selling liquor in retail stores.”
Arent’s bill passed out of the House on a vote of 42-to-30. House Bill 283 is a pilot program, so if it passes through the legislature, the Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control will report back to lawmakers twice next year to tell them how the program is working.
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