A bill passed by the House Alcohol Beverage Control Committee would allow ABC boards to permit ABC stores to be open on Sundays in North Carolina. The bill represents the House version of omnibus alcohol law reform. The House committee placed its provisions in Senate Bill 527, which originally addressed elevator safety.

Among other provisions, the new S.B. 527 would also add two additional members to the North Carolina Alcohol Beverage Control Commission, bringing the board membership to a chairman and four members. The chair and two members still would be appointed by the governor, with one additional member appointed by the Senate president pro tempore and one member appointed by the speaker of the North Carolina House.

Lead sponsors of the bill include Sens. Tim Moffitt, R-Henderson; Todd Johnson, R-Union; Bobby Hanig, R-Bertie; and Tom McGinnis, R-Cumberland.

Dr. Mark Creech of the Christian Action League of North Carolina spoke against the bill in committee, calling the omnibus “a paradigm shift” in the way the state handles alcohol sales. Speaking in favor of the bill was Andy Ellen, president of the NC Retail Merchants Association, who called it a regulatory reform bill that fixes problems in ABC permitting for retailers, a process that has been slowed since COVID lockdowns.

The bill passed the House ABC committee and was referred to the House Finance Committee. In a poll conducted over the summer, 44.2% of North Carolina respondents would support privatization of the ABC system.