By Esme Murphy

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — It comes up just about every year in the Minnesota Legislature – a bill that would allow Sunday liquor sales in Minnesota.

And every year it goes down to defeat, often not making it out of key committees.

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But supporters say this year is different, and a critical vote in the Minnesota House is slated for Monday afternoon.

Minnesota is one of only 12 states that prohibit Sunday liquor sales. And the people that want to keep it that way include many small, independent liquor store owners.

These mom and mop stores argue that Sunday sales will hurt their bottom line.

They believe they will sell the same amount of liquor over seven days as they do over six days, but they will have to pay staff to work Sundays.

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On the other hand, big box stores, like Total Wine, are pushing for Sunday sales, and legislators say they are hearing from constituents who are supportive.

This year, the bill in the House has a powerful co-sponsor, Speaker of the House Kurt Daudt.

“We think the reason it is catching stream is that there is broad grass roots support for it and pressure has been growing at the capitol in recent years,” the Daudt said on WCCO Sunday Morning. “I think this is the year.”

While the Republican lawmaker is confident about passage in the house, the bill’s chances of success in the Minnesota Senate are less clear.

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Gov. Mark Dayton has said if the Legislature passes Sunday sales and it gets to his desk, he will sign the measure into law.

Esme Murphy