Wet local governments, voters can skip Legislature for Sunday sales under new law

Starting Aug. 1, city councils and county commissions in wet areas can authorize Sunday alcohol sales by ordinance, resolution or referendum without first seeking legislative approval, under legislation that became law this week.

On Monday, Gov. Kay Ivey signed Act No. 2019-100 by Rep. Reed Ingram, R-Mathews, and Sen. Tom Whatley, R-Auburn.

The new law keeps local governments from having to wait until the Legislature is in session to approve Sunday sales for their areas and gives those opposed to such measures more of a voice in the outcome, Ingram said.

Besides by vote of the local governing body, the legislation allows wet local governments – those already permitted by state law to authorize alcohol sales – to seek a vote of their constituents on Sunday alcohol sales, if preferred.  The bill does not require a referendum for Sunday sales, but gives wet local governments the option to call for a vote of the people or adopt Sunday sales by ordinance or resolution.

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