A St. Patrick’s Day bill that would make a small change to existing alcohol sale laws passed in the House by a vote of 105-32 Thursday.The bill, sponsored by Rep. Barry Hobbins, D-Saco, would allow the sale of alcohol to start at 6 a.m. on St. Patrick’s Day when the holiday falls on a Sunday. Alcohol sales may now begin at 9 a.m. on Sundays, while the time is 6 a.m. for other days of the week. A similar exception is made for New Year’s Day. Hobbins’ bill has a provision that allows it to go into effect in time for St. Patrick’s Day this Sunday.“I’m delighted that Democrats and Republicans were able to find common ground on this measure. A good number of Mainers want to be able to mark the day with a traditional Irish breakfast of corned beef, eggs and a Guinness toast on Sunday, just as they would on any other day of the week,” said Hobbins said. “Many small businesses also expressed the need to address the discrepancies in serving start times.”Hobbins approached the governor Wednesday to explain how the bill would help small businesses. The governor said he would sign the bill.“He give me his word that he wouldn’t veto the bill,” Hobbins said. “And I take him at his word, as always.” The measure received unanimous approval in committee and on initial votes in the House and Senate. It is supported by the Maine Restaurant Association and was introduced on behalf of a constituent who is a member of the Emerald Society, an organization for police officers and firefighters of Irish heritage. During the public hearing on the bill, restaurant and pub owners testified in support of allowing traditional celebratory activities to begin earlier on the biggest day of business for their establishments. The bill has support from establishments around the state.“While this is a simple measure, it would make a big difference to these businesses and to their employees,” said Rep. Louis Luchini, D-Ellsworth, the House chair of the Veterans and Legal Affairs Committee. “We heard no opposition.”
MDI - Acadia National Park's carriage roads are closed.
Bangor - From the Bangor Police Department: On March 14 at about 04:30 am, Bangor Police were called to Second Street Park to the report of a man that was stabbed and robbed.