Va. Senate approves Sunday liquor sales for state-owned stores

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Local,Virginia,Steve Contorno

State-owned liquor stores in Virginia have the OK from the General Assembly to start selling booze on Sundays.

The Senate voted Thursday to allow the state’s Alcoholic Beverage Control board to keep any liquor store it chooses open on Sundays. Currently, only urban areas and localities with a population greater than 100,000 people are eligible to sell alcohol throughout the entire week.

The bill previously passed the House but was hung up in the Senate when an effort to give that authority to localities gained momentum and passed the chamber earlier this week. But the Senate voted again Thursday and passed the House version of the bill 25-15.

Keeping some ABC stores open on Sunday will “allow the opportunity to garnish a little more general fund revenue,” said Sen. Frank Wagner, R-Virginia Beach.

Opponents cautioned the bill is further evidence that the state shouldn’t be in the business of running liquor stores.

The bill moves to Gov. Bob McDonnell’s desk, and his office confirmed he will sign it.

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