MN Sunday Liquor Sales Gets Bi-Partisan Backing

A proposal to repeal Minnesota’s ban on Sunday liquor sales has support from Democrats and Republicans this session, however that does not guarantee it is going to pass. In the past it has been voted down by wide margins. In the past, liquor store owners and union labor have been opposed to the bill. Supporters Rep. Jenifer Loon (R-Eden Prairie) and Sen. Roger Reinert (DFL-Duluth) brought along several liquor store owners to their news conference announcing this year’s drive to repeal the Sunday liquor sale prohibition.

Tamra Kramer, owner of Vom Fass a store that sells liquor at the Mall of America, said her store would make $100,000 more a year in sales if Sunday sales were allowed.

When questioned about that figure she said she just multiplied a single days sales by 52. Opponents of the repeal in the past have argued that people buy their liquor on other days knowing the store will be closed on Sunday, meaning for most store owners, sales would not go up as much as Kramer said hers would.

Reasons the law has not been repealed in the past

In the past smaller liquor store owners have said they would see increased costs because they would need to be open on Sunday to be competitive, but costs could exceed the additional revenue they might see.

Loon says the political landscape has changed in the House since the last time a change in Sunday liquor laws was voted on. The new House Speaker Kurt Daudt supports the repeal and Governor Mark Dayton has indicated he might sign it. However Reinert says things have not changed in the Senate, where the repeal could still face major opposition.

Loon said the Teamsters union has been a big opponent of repeal in the past because Sunday liquor sales could mean union workers would have to work the weekend to make deliveries. She said store owners should be able to plan ahead and stock enough product for the weekend, so she is willing to write into the bill a prohibition on weekend liquor deliveries.

Michael McIntee

Michael McIntee is a former network TV news executive with more than 30 years of broadcasting experience. He began his broadcasting career at the University of Minnesota's student radio station. He is an expert producer, writer, video editor who has a fondness for new technology but denies that he is a geek. More about Michael McIntee »

One thought on “MN Sunday Liquor Sales Gets Bi-Partisan Backing

  1. http://www.minnpost.com/politics-policy/2015/01/why-one-most-popular-arguments-against-sunday-liquor-sales-bunk

    Also, a comment by “PD Larson” on there that I really like:

    “Absurd MN liquor laws need to be changed. Now.

    1) There are many members of the liquor industry who absolutely aren’t “just fine” with the existing “Blue Laws” – far from it. Not everyone kowtows to the MLBA and their paid stooges. Furthermore, the vast majority of consumers prefer the choice to buy off sale alcohol on the second busiest shopping day of the week for no other reason than plain convenience. Why is the government affording protection and special treatment to a specific industry?

    2) Plenty of business owners would like some time off. Should it be the role of the government to regulate that? We had “blue laws” that affected virtually every retail business as recently as the 1960s in MN. Those days are long gone – as they should be.

    3) The “sober up” argument is ludicrous. If the government wants to mandate a “sober up” day – something they have no business doing – why can we all buy hard liquor and wine at almost every bar, restaurant and saloon in MN on Sunday? Why can someone sit at a bar all day on Sunday and drink their fill but you can’t even buy a 6 pack of real beer at your local convenience store? Ridiculous. It should be one way or the other. It’s really not that complicated.

    4) The “sober up” argument is also tremendously insulting, implying that those of us who might want to buy alcohol on Sunday somehow have a problem. Really? Last time I checked, alcohol was a legal product here in MN and the vast majority of people who use and consume it do so responsibly. Imagine a Sunday in the summer where the weather is unusually nice and you want to have an impromptu BBQ. You realize you don’t have any beer or wine handy – are we really going to demonize people in this extremely common scenario as “problem drinkers?” People need to get off of their high horses. We tried prohibition before and look how that worked.

    There’s not a single valid argument against this ridiculous prohibition. Not one. There’s a small but extremely vocal minority of business owners who pay massive amounts of money to lobbyists to have the government maintain the current anti-consumer status quo and that’s the only reason consumers in MN are being so poorly served. Vast amounts of tax revenues are being lost – both due to decreased sales and sales lost to border states, all of whom allow Sunday retail liquor sales. These laws need to be changed – the sooner or better. Than we can work on getting wine in the grocery stores.”