MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Supporters of legalizing Sunday liquor store sales in Minnesota may have to put a cork in it this year.
A State Capitol effort to lift the state’s 80-year ban appears to be dead for the year.
Minnesota is one of only 12 states that ban Sunday sales of alcohol in stores.
But the powerful chairman of the Senate Commerce Committee said despite widespread publicity about Sunday sales, he doesn’t see a lot of support for it at the Legislature.
“There wasn’t a big push for it,” said Sen. James Metzen, D-South St. Paul.
A 2013 Public Policy Poll found 62 percent of Minnesotans support store sales of alcohol on Sundays.
Supporters say the Legislative setback was not unexpected, and that it is still difficult to round up the necessary votes to pass it.
“We have a number of small business liquor store owners who want this,” said Rep. Jennifer Loon, R-Eden Prairie, the House author of the Sunday bill.
However, she said thee is growing support at the Legislature.
“There are more and more members supporting a change in our ban on Sunday liquor,” Loon said.
Even if the ban on Sunday liquor store sales won’t be overturned, some Sunday liquor laws will likely change this year.
One will allow bars to open at 8 a.m. on Sundays instead of 10 a.m.
And another change will permit craft beer breweries to sell 66-ounce containers called growlers on Sundays.
Metzen called it “a baby step” toward legalizing Sunday sales.
“We do have the growlers, which some might say is a foot in the door. It’s a start,” he said. “I’m not saying that it will lead to it, but it could.”