MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — With deadlines looming at the State Capitol, the next few weeks will see heated debate over what to do with the state’s $1 billion budget deficit.

And you will also hear debate over an issue that seems to come up every year — Sunday liquor sales.

Minnesota is one of only twelve states to ban Sunday liquor sales, and while the issue seems to surface almost every session, the votes have not been close.

In 2013, the Minnesota House defeated Sunday sales 106-21. That was despite polls that have shown the general public strongly supports Sunday sales.

And it’s the public support that convinced a key legislator to change his mind.

Republican House Speaker Kurt Daudt says his constituents convinced him to support Sunday sales and as speaker he plans to use his power to get the measure to the House floor for a vote.

“There is a grassroots effort to put pressure on legislators to open the liquor stores on Sunday, and frankly it will come up on the House floor for a vote,” he said. “I can’t predict the outcome, but I give it a 50-50 chance of passing.”

Opponents include industry groups who say Sunday sales will unfairly burden small liquor stores who will have to pay for Sunday staffing but are expecting they will generate the same volume of sales.

Gov. Mark Dayton has said if somehow Sunday sales does make it through the Legislature this year, he will sign it into law.

To see a full interview with House Speaker Kurt Daudt, watch the video above.

Esme Murphy

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