Senate committee approves Sunday liquor sales

On a bipartisan vote, the Senate Commerce Committee approved legislation today which permits the option of liquor sales on Sundays. The bill, sponsored by Sen. Roger Reinert, DFL-Duluth, was referred to the Senate Finance Committee.

“This is a historic day. I’ve been told by veteran legislators that this issue has never even been heard in a Minnesota Senate committee,” said Sen. Reinert. “I’m pleased we were able to find bipartisan support for this proposal, and am hopeful we will finally be able to take this century-old law off our books. This bill is good for business, good for consumers, and good for our state.”

Analysts for the Distilled Spirits Council of the United States (DISCUS) found that cross border purchases by Minnesotans driving to Wisconsin account for about 3.1 percent of the Badger State’s taxed liquor sales. A law change could potentially generate up to $10.6 million in tax revenue, according to DISCUS analysis.

Regionally, Minnesota is on an island in prohibiting the sale of liquor on Sundays. Each of Minnesota’s bordering states and Canadian provinces currently allows the sale of liquor on Sundays.

Sen. Reinert’s bill is supported by liquor store owners across the state. The bill also has wide public support. A poll conducted by the Minnesota Legislature during the 2010 Minnesota State Fair showed nearly 70% of respondents favored the change.

“The simple fact is consumers want the flexibility of Sunday liquor sales, and changing this law will bring in revenue for our state during these difficult times,” said Reinert. A hearing in the Senate Finance Committee has not yet been scheduled. Companion legislation in the House awaits a hearing.

For more information, contact Sen. Reinert’s Capitol office at (651) 296-4188 or sen.roger.reinert@senate.mn.

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Senator Roger Reinert
Roger Reinert represents District 7, which includes St. Louis County. He is also an educator.

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