Another year, another hurdle for Sunday liquor sales - KMSP-TV

Sunday liquor sales: Could a 'different approach' finally work?

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ST. PAUL, Minn. (KMSP) -

Another year, another hurdle for Sunday liquor sales in Minnesota.

DFL Sen. Roger Reinert of Duluth and Republican Rep. Jennifer Loon of Eden Prairie introduced 7 bills today at the state Capitol. Sen. Reinert says they're trying to "take a different approach" to repeal Minnesota's old blue law.

Sen. Reinert said two of the bills hand the reins to local communities, allowing them to decide how to proceed with Sunday sales.

SUNDAY SALES LAW OPTIONS

-Repealing the Sunday liquor ban completely
-Repeal Sunday liquor ban and leave the decision to municipalities to leave ban in place
-Keep state law, leave decision to overturn to municipalities
-Allow Sunday sales of beer growlers at local tap rooms
-Allow tap rooms to sell alcohol on Sundays
-Introduce constitutional amendment for 2014 ballot allowing voting public to decide
-A bill that restricts liquor sales on Saturdays

Full explanation: Sunday sales law options


"If this is such a 'sky is falling' issue, then let's let the voters decide," Sen. Reinert said regarding a potential constitutional amendment to the 2014 ballot.

GROWING SUPPORT

Sen. Reinert says he's received more than 3,000 emails in support of Sunday liquor sales. But, he thinks a full repeal would be an uphill battle.

He'll be hosting a Twitter chat session (follow @RogerForDuluth) starting at 12:15 today and will answer questions regarding the proposed legislation.

Minnesota Beer Activists created a website, sundaysalesmn.org, where Minnesotans can sign a petition to garner support for the legislation.

HUGE REJECTION IN 2013

Last year, the measure was rejected after the Minnesota House shot it down on an overwhelming 106-21 vote. Supporters of relaxing the blue law tried to attach the legislation to a broader bill dealing with liquor licenses.

Opponents of ending the ban say independent liquor store owners want to stay closed on Sundays so as not to feel pressure from competitors or deal with overhead. Some say they simply don't want to work on Sunday.

MINNESOTA IN THE MINORITY

Minnesota is one of only 12 states to prohibit Sunday sales. At least 16 states have repealed Sunday blue laws since 2000, and each state saw increased sales, Rep. Loon said.

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