Sunday Liquor Sales Passes House

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SAINT PAUL, MINN – By an 85-45 vote the Minnesota House of Representatives has approved a bill allowing liquor stores to be open on Sundays in Minnesota.  The bill now moves to the Minnesota Senate.

Thirty-seven House Democrats joined 48 Republicans to pass the measure that would end a decades-old law prohibiting liquor stores from selling alcohol on Sundays.  The new law, if passed, will allow liquor stores to be open from 10am-6pm on Sundays.  It would also prevent the Sunday delivery of alcohol to off-sale retailers.

Representative Jenifer Loon (R- Eden Prairie) was the bill’s chief author.  In a statement released by the Minnesota Republicans, Loon said, “Having championed legislation to repeal the Sunday sales ban for the past four years, I have worked hard to bring momentum to this issue and grow support among legislators. Today’s vote reflects that work, passing bipartisan legislation in the House that is supported by a majority of Minnesota citizens who want to see our state’s antiquated alcohol laws move into the twenty-first century. Repealing the Sunday sales ban will give consumers and businesses the convenience and choice they deserve, and I hope we can get it signed into law this year.”

Minnesota Consumers First, a group supporting the Sunday Sales bill, cheered the vote calling it a “huge victory” for consumers across Minnesota.  The group thanked legislators voting for the bill and the Minnesotans who called lawmakers to let them know their support for the bill, stating, “This historic vote takes us one step closer to finally allowing Sunday sales in Minnesota. We will now carry our momentum forward in the Senate.”

The bill will be heard by the Senate Committee on Commerce and Consumer Protection Finance and Policy at 10:30am on Feb. 22.  

McClatchy News reports Senate Majority Leader Paul Gazelka says he can foresee the ban falling this year.  If it passes the Senate, Governor Dayton has said he will not veto the measure according to reports by the Pioneer Press.