The logo for the International Brotherhood of Teamsters. (AP)

“A bill that would allow limited Sunday sales of alcohol in Minnesota is in jeopardy.

“Backers of a bill that would allow liquor stores to sell alcohol on Sundays have been rebuffed at the State Capitol for years. So this year, they considered it a victory that even a tiny Sunday sales provision was included in the overall liquor bill.

“The measure, which would allow craft beer taprooms to sell growlers (refillable containers that hold half a gallon) on Sundays, sailed through legislative committees. But the bill has stalled in the Senate Tax Committee. The roadblock? The powerful Teamsters Union,” writes MPR News reporter Tom Scheck.

Teamster’s Union political director Ed Reynoso said the union started lobbying against Sunday growler sales after he learned a company that distributes alcohol and employs members of the union suggested the law would allow them to reopen their labor contracts because of it. He said the union wants to avoid that because it could mean wages, benefits and work hours could all be back on the table.

“As soon as we had an employer raise the potential that they were going to ask for a reopener, I reached out to leadership, I reached out to the Senate Committee chair,” Reynoso said. “I notified them of our objections and our concerns.”

Reynoso said he showed the contracts to DFL leaders to highlight the importance of removing the Sunday growler sales provision from the bill. He declined to identify the business that requested the negotiations. (MPR News)

Today’s Question: Do the Teamsters have too much power at the Minnesota Capitol?

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In this May 14, 2012 photo provided by the Delaware County, Iowa, Sheriff’s Office is Isaiah Sweet, then 17, who pleaded guilty to shooting his grandparents. A judge ruled Tuesday, March 11, 2014 that Sweet, now 19, should serve the maximum sentence of life in prison without parole for the 2012 slayings of Janet and Richard Sweet at their home in Manchester, Iowa. AP Photo/Delaware County Sheriff’s Office
Sister Helen Prejean, a Roman Catholic nun and advocate for the abolition of the death penalty, was in town last month to give the keynote address at the Nobel Peace Prize Forum in Minneapolis.

She argues that a sentence of life without parole is akin to a sentence of death.

“As a society we have to examine our belief that severe punishment is the way to restore order,” she told The Sun magazine. “The main objective of prisons is to keep society safe, not to cause prisoners pain simply because they caused others pain. People who have committed violent crimes need to be imprisoned to keep the public safe, but we must also strive for rehabilitation. We know that prisoners who get an education tend not to reoffend, but we’ve cut most educational programs from prisons — really, any program that might restore humanity to the prisoners. Restorative justice would improve our society instead of simply throwing people away.”

The Daily Circuit discussed the topic this morning. Read more and listen here.

Today’s Question: Are juries giving out too many life without parole sentences?

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Irrigation is the fastest growing use of groundwater, and an MPR News investigation broadcast this week chronicled how hundreds of farmers likely are pumping tens of thousands of gallons of water without DNR authorization or knowledge. The Minnesota Senate passed legislation on Tuesday that would allow state officials to penalize anyone who uses large amounts Read more