Lawmakers launch new attempt to repeal MN Sunday liquor law

By KBJR News 1

March 6, 2014 Updated Mar 6, 2014 at 11:47 PM CDT

St. Paul, MN (NNCNOW.com) - The push at the Minnesota Capitol is on once again this year to allow liquor sales on Sundays.On Thursday, lawmakers laid out seven proposals varying from big ideas to small ones.

"We're unveiling a whole spectrum of options. I'm calling it my throw it at the wall and see what sticks approach," Sen. Roger Reinert (DFL-Duluth) said.

The DFL Duluth Senator and Republican Representative, Jenifer Loon, are behind the slew of new measures.

They include everything from a full repeal to letting individual cities decide whether liquor sales should be allowed.

"If that's not palatable, we keep moving down the spectrum I have two different bills. One would allow growlers to be filled and sold on Sundays and taprooms to be opened," Sen. Reinert said.

But just like in years past, there are those opposed to selling liquor on Sunday's including the Minnesota Licensed Beverage Association.

The organization said in a statement it does not think that it's the government's role to change the rules on hardworking businesses.

They went on to say unless alcohol consumption increases, mom and pop stores will see increased costs without increased revenues.

But Senator Reinert sees it differently.

"Not letting our folks sell on Sundays is detrimental to the success of these small businesses," Sen. Reinert said.

Right now 38 other states allow liquor stores to be open on Sundays.

Senator Reinert says if none of his other options work, Sunday liquor sales will be offered as a constitutional amendment.

"We're one of the dirty dozen left with this. Progressive Minnesota where we can have marriage equality, we can be talking about legalizing medical marijuana use, but we can't trust you to make a purchase on a Sunday."

Senator Reinert says he's received nearly 3,000 emails in support of allowing Sunday liquor sales.

The bill to fully repeal the law failed to pass a House floor vote last year.

Written by Kevin Jacobsen
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