ST. PAUL, Minn. – After what appeared to be a promising year for reasonable steps forward on liquor issues in Minnesota, an amendment stripping out the sale of growlers on Sunday was passed in the Senate Tax Committee on Monday.
“It’s very disappointing to see a bill that passed the Commerce Committee on a nearly unanimous voice vote now be stripped of these reasonable provisions. The Legislature’s inconsistency on liquor issues is increasingly frustrating,” Sen. Roger Reinert (DFL-Duluth) said.
Two of Sen. Reinert’s provisions remain in the Omnibus Liquor Bill: allowing tap rooms to open on Sunday, and a provision called the ‘growler freedom’ bill which allows beer breweries to refill any growler and reseal the container in accordance with current law.
“Minnesota has made a lot of progressive changes recently, but we continue to meet road blocks on the Sunday Sales issue. We’re a state that’s willing to support marriage equality and likely medical marijuana sales, but you can’t get a growler filled on Sunday? That just doesn’t make sense. The craft brewing industry in Minnesota now accounts for some 8,000 jobs and $80,000,000 in revenue. These reasonable steps forward would only have furthered that growth.”
The growler provision met opposition primarily from the Teamsters Union, which represents warehouse drivers.
“The Teamsters opposition continues to confound me. Liquor stores don’t sell growlers, which means Teamsters don’t deliver them. By killing these provisions they are saying no to more jobs, more tax revenue, and more money flowing into our state economy,” Sen. Reinert said.
All eyes now turn to the House, where the Omnibus Liquor Bill includes the growler provisions and awaits a full floor vote.
To take a look at the bill and all of the provisions that won’t be happening this year, visit the Senate’s webpage here.
Sen. Reinert along with Rep. Jenifer Loon (R-Eden Prairie), who was working on these provisions in the House will hold a press conference to discuss Sunday Sales at a later date.