Malloy renews push to do away with minimum alcohol pricing - WFSB 3 Connecticut

Malloy renews push to do away with minimum alcohol pricing

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Gov. Malloy is still trying to update Connecticut's liquor laws. (WFSB file photo) Gov. Malloy is still trying to update Connecticut's liquor laws. (WFSB file photo)
HARTFORD, CT (WFSB) -

The fight continues between the governor and many of the state's liquor stores.

Gov. Dannel P. Malloy is trying to overhaul liquor pricing laws. He said Connecticut consumers are paying much more than those in surrounding states.

Some Connecticut liquor store owners said they feel they are under attack again.

"There are fixed prices on iPhone, on gas, on cigarettes, on lottery tickets,” Jay Polke, who owns Willowbrook Spirit Shoppe in Cromwell, said. “All of those items can't be sold below cost."

Polke said recent changes in liquor laws such as Sunday sales have not been great for business. He added that he worries about what's coming next.

Malloy, who pushed for Sunday sales, is once again trying to get lawmakers to do away with minimum pricing, which allow stores to sell at actual cost.

"I have enough faith in our small businesses that they will be able to compete,” Michelle Seagull who is a deputy commissioner for the department of consumer protection said. “All other businesses compete by charging actual costs."

Consumer protection said the goal is to get rid of artificial inflation and help stores near neighboring states where there is no minimum pricing and alcohol is less expensive.

But some liquor store owners said that's not a fair comparison because Massachusetts doesn't have a state tax and that's the reason their prices are cheaper.  

“It's not going to generate more money for the state if we sell for less dollars, less tax will be collected. Polke said.

Those against it said they feel medium sized stores will really be hurt because they won't be able to make enough money to pay their employees. 

A hearing is set for next Tuesday and many store owners are expected to voice their concerns.

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