People who want to buy beer and wine in Minnesota on Sundays received some good news recently, as the House of Representatives approved legislation that would remove our one-day prohibition on alcohol sales.
The final vote of 85 to 45 indicated that the Sunday liquor sales bill was not a partisan issue, as a good number of Democrats voted in favor while some Republicans also opposed the measure.
Off-sale liquor sales are currently permitted between 8:00 AM and 10:00 PM Monday through Saturday. Under the House-approved bill, retailers could sell alcohol between 10:00 AM and 6:00 PM on Sundays, effective July 1, 2017, but the delivery or acceptance of alcohol to an off-sale retailer on Sundays would be prohibited.
Minnesota is just one of 12 states that does not allow liquor to be sold at retail stores on Sundays, and this prohibition has been in place for 80 years.
For me, this vote was a very difficult decision. On one hand I can understand the local liquor retailers who don’t want to be open on Sundays, and those who think it may lead to more abuse of alcohol. On the other hand, it’s time for the average person and the retailers themselves to make that decision – not state government.
Alcohol is not unavailable on Sundays. You can go to a restaurant on Sunday and order drinks; you just aren’t able to purchase liquor at a retail site.
The bill now heads to the Minnesota Senate for further debate. But from my perspective, it’s time for state government to get out of making an individual’s decision and to give liquor store owners the choice to open for business on Sunday.
As always, I am interested in your feedback. Please feel free to contact me by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or contact my office at 651-296-5368.