Sunday Liquor Sales
The debate over cracking open Minnesota’s ban on Sunday liquor store sales has ended with a whimper. With a Senate vote Friday, a bill preserving the status quo on takeaway sales is on its way to Gov. Mark Dayton.
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Stock up on beer, wine and liquor on Saturday. The Minnesota Senate soundly defeated a repeal of the state’s law barring liquor stores from being open on Sundays. The chamber voted in favor of allowing craft beer tap rooms to sell growlers for takeaway on Sundays, but then the bill got pulled from debate.
Minnesota beer lovers would find it easier to enjoy their pursuit on Sundays under a bill advanced by a Senate committee for expanded alcohol sales on the seventh day. Without testimony or debate, the Senate Commerce Committee passed a bill included three proposals by Sen. Roger Reinert, DFL-Duluth. One would allow taprooms to make Sunday sales. Another would allow craft-beer brewers to sell 64-ounce containers called “growlers” on Sundays. And the third would allow small brewers and brewpubs to refill any growler on Sundays.
A state senator pushing to undo Minnesota’s restrictions on Sunday liquor store sales has claimed an incremental victory while acknowledging he probably won’t get his full wish this year.
Some proud beer drinkers took a rather festive approach Monday to the legislative process. The group Minnesota Beer Activists is trying to raise money to push for alcohol sales on Sunday. Several bands offered to play in support at First Avenue in downtown at a four-hour concert on St. Patrick’s Day.
Two State lawmakers recently offered several bills that would achieve the same goal: allowing Sunday liquor sales in Minnesota. The bills range from allowing state-wide sales on Sunday to just allowing sales at breweries and tap rooms across the state. Another proposal by Sen. Roger Reinert of Duluth and Rep. Jennifer Loon of Eden Prairie would let individual cities decide if they want to allow Sunday sales.
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A leading Republican in the Minnesota House is introducing a new bill to allow Sunday liquor sales in Minnesota. Jenifer Loon of Eden Prairie, the deputy Republican leader, says Monday it’s time for state government to abolish a law she calls outdated and against free enterprise.
Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton says he’d sign a bill allowing liquor stores to open on Sundays if lawmakers muster the votes to pass it. Dayton told The Associated Press in an interview Friday that commerce is a seven-day-a-week proposition so he doesn’t think it makes sense for government to dictate which businesses can operate on which days.