'Brunch bill' wins Senate approval

Posted June 1
Updated June 28

'Brunch bill' could allow 10 a.m. mimosas at restaurants

— After much committee discussion in both chambers this session, a proposal to allow alcohol sales before noon on Sunday won approval in the Senate Thursday.

Senate Bill 155 would allow cities and counties to decide whether to allow local restaurants and bars to serve alcohol beginning at 10 a.m. on Sundays.

"This is a pure local option," sponsor Sen. Rick Gunn, R-Alamance, told the Senate Rules Committee. "We will join 47 other states in allowing some form of alcohol sales before noon."

The measure also includes several provisions easing rules for the state's growing craft distillery industry. It would allow companies to sell five bottles of their product a year on site to customers who tour their facilities and permit liquor tastings at off-site events by distillery employees or supplier or broker representatives with a $200 permit.

The bill also loosens rules on rebates on alcoholic beverages and allows auctioneers to auction off high-end wine and liquor with a $750 permit per event.

The state has 45 distilleries in operation, with another 22 in the process, said bill supporter Scott Maitland with the North Carolina Distillers' Association, adding that the industry is poised to be as successful in North Carolina as craft brewing has been.

But Rev. Mark Creech, executive director of the Christian Action League, urged senators to defeat the measure, saying it poses a danger to public health and undermines the state's control system for liquor.

Calling the Sunday sales provision "sensitive to business interests but insensitive to churches," Creech argued, "Surely, we can wait to start serving drinks until after the preacher has said the benediction."

The committee approved the measure on what appeared to be a close voice vote, and the bill went on to win the approval of the full Senate two hours later with little debate and a wider margin of support, 32-13.

It now moves to the House.


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  • Dan Kimrey Jun 3, 9:47 a.m.
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    So the reverend doesn't have enough faith that his congregation can abstain if a bar is open on Sunday morning? I would suggest not to lean too hard on that pulpit. It appears to be rather flimsy.

  • Eric Rothman Jun 2, 11:44 a.m.
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    I am Not a drinker by any standards, but these Sunday rules are stupid. You have everyone on TV always complaining about separation of church and state yet somehow making rules about drinking on Sunday based on church and religion goes against everybody that doesn't follow that. That is always baffled me.

  • Michael Thompson Jun 2, 11:00 a.m.
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    If the church wants to put in their two cents on mandating legislation they should put in their two cents on taxes. As a christian it infuriates me that the church wants to make (or Keep) laws to make congregants to behave. Faith is about belief and prayer, not forced compliance.

  • Anna Temple Jun 2, 9:00 a.m.
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    Very very suprise that Franklin graham has not made a public statement about this debauchery. Or is his silence on the matter more revealing..

  • Chris Cole Jun 2, 8:43 a.m.
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    View quoted thread

    I'm not conservative, but I do agree with this only because the Sunday laws are stupid because they are based on "God".

  • Anna Temple Jun 1, 10:10 p.m.
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    Yes, more alcohol. More drinking. More driving more gun toting more more more. If it were not for guns, booze and gays, what on earth would the legislature do with their precious time