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Roy Cooper To Sign 'Brunch Bill'

A. Currell

There's a good chance North Carolina will soon allow the sale of alcohol before noon on Sundays.  Governor Roy Cooper is expected to sign what's called the brunch bill, after it passed the state House and Senate this week with broad support. 

The law would allow restaurants and stores to sell alcohol starting at 10:00 a.m. on Sundays, that's two hours earlier than what's now allowed. Individual counties would still have to sign off on sales says Democratic State Senator Dan Blue of Wake County. He's one of the bill's primary sponsor.   

"It’s a county by county call. So that you’re not really imposing on anybody, it’s a decision made by the locally elected officials,” said Senator Blue

The North Carolina Restaurant and Lodging Association expects only half of the state's counties will allow the sales. The group's CEO Lynn Minges says the change will be a big boost for businesses and tax revenue. 

“The best news about this is that it’s more dollars, more jobs, more revenue for state and local government, and it’s a better way for us to serve our guests and meet customer demands.” She said.

The bill passed the state house 74-to-40 and the state senate 37-to-9. Those who argued against it cited moral reasons against expanding alcohol sales and worried it would deter people from going to church.   

There were changes for craft distilleries in the bill, too. They can now sell up to five bottles over a year's time to those who tour their distilleries.