Sen. Reinert Pushes for Liquor Sales on Sundays

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Minnesota State Senator Roger Reinert (DFL, District 7) introduced legislation today that would repeal state laws prohibiting the sale of liquor on Sundays. Reinert introduced similar legislation last year in the House. Analysis from the Distilled Spirits Council of the United States (DISCUS), which Reinert’s office cited today in a press release, found that cross border purchases by Minnesotans driving to Wisconsin account for about 3.1 percent of the Badger State’s taxed liquor sales.

“Minnesota’s current statutes prohibiting the sale of alcohol on Sundays puts our state at a competitive and economic disadvantage — particularly in communities that border Wisconsin,” said Sen. Reinert. “Wisconsin already got a win with the Packers going to the Super Bowl, why give them another win with Minnesota tax dollars? … This bill is about the free market, giving both businesses and consumers a choice. Stores could still choose to be closed on Sundays, and consumers could choose not to make a purchase. But let’s allow for the choice.”

A law change would also generate up to $10.6 million in tax revenue, according to DISCUS analysis. Minnesota is one of only 14 states that forbids retail liquor sales on Sundays. DISCUS also reports that shoppers tend to spend more on Sundays than on other days of the week. And, in the important 35-to-54-year-old demographic, Sunday is the second most important grocery shopping day of the year. More than 43 percent of the distilled spirits consumers fall into that age category.

Jacob Wheeler

In addition to shooting videos for The UpTake, Jacob Wheeler is a contributing editor at the progressive political magazine In These Times, publishes the Glen Arbor Sun in his native Michigan, and authored "Between Light and Shadow," a recent book about the Guatemalan adoption industry. Wheeler's stories have appeared in such magazines as the Utne Reader, Earth Island Journal, Rotarian and Teaching Tolerance magazine, and newspapers including the San Francisco Chronicle and Christian Science Monitor. He speaks fluent Spanish, German and Danish.

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