Sunday liquor push fails again

The Minnesota House has once again voted to keep the state’s longtime ban on Sunday liquor sales.

By a 14-vote margin, lawmakers rejected a proposal Thursday to allow local government officials to decide whether to allow liquor stores in their communities to open on Sundays. Current law prohibits liquor stores statewide from being open on Sundays.

Rep. Jenifer Loon, R-Eden Prairie said consumers and many liquor store owners are asking for the change. Loon said her proposal is about economic freedom.

“We entrust our local municipalities to make decisions with regards to what happens in their cities in a number of areas,” Loon said. “It’s time that we allow them to make this decision. If it’s not for your city, then your local government will make that decision.”

Some legislators have changed their position on Sunday sales.

Rep. Tony Cornish, R-Vernon Center, said he’s now a supporter.

“I think the moral argument, the business argument and the law enforcement argument are outdated and archaic,” Cornish said.

Opponents argued that lifting the ban would hurt many small liquor stores. They also contend that another day of retail liquor sales would result in more alcohol-related problems.

Rep. Joe Atkins, DFL-Inver Grove Heights, said he’s convinced there would be more problems.

“The studies are quite conclusive, if you look across the country,” Atkins said. “In places where there is greater access, there are greater alcohol-related crimes.”

Rep. Laurie Halverson, DFL-Eagan, said the local option approach would result in incongruous policies.

“Patchwork laws around the state are not helpful to our small businesses,” Halverson said.

  • Pit Boss

    I guess Wisconsin, Iowa, and North and South Dakota will continue to reap benefits due to our politicians stupidity.
    If people are going to drink, they are going to do it no matter if they can buy it on Sunday or stock up on Saturday. I mean if not being able to legally buy booze stopped violence, there’d be no drug violence, right?

  • MeecheMill

    This is so disgusting – once again the idiots voted this down – They want to keep Minnesota in the dark ages – they want to control what we can buy and sell on Sundays – how about closing down all the stores and car dealerships that are open on Sundays? This is beyond insane – shame on every single representative and senator who voted against Sunday sales of liquor – They need to get out of Minnesota and see how the rest of America lives – for over 60 years, you can walk in any drug store, market, grocery store and get beer, alcohol and wine in California and 43 other states – – – Minnesota for some crazy reason thinks this is bad. I think it is just that they are being paid off by the lobbyists and Mom and Pop liquor stores who don’t want to open on Sunday – well, no one said they HAD to be open, it would have been their choice – Minnesota is so behind other states in so many ways, liquor sales, road, light rail, bridges, freeways – lighted lane markers on highways so people can see the lanes when it rains! Minnesota needs to clean house on these backward legislators who want to keep the people under their thumbs