Sunday liquor sales passage and a budget surplus

The final days of February went out with a bang at the state legislature with the Minnesota Senate passing Sunday liquor sales with a 38 to 28 vote. The bipartisan vote ends a depression-era law that banned the sale of alcohol on Sundays. The bill is expected to be signed soon by Governor Dayton, and will go into effect on July 1, 2017.

This week the February Budget Forecast was also announced – a look at the state’s finances which helps legislators craft a two-year budget. The forecast showed a $1.65 billion surplus, thanks to a strong economy and increasing consumer spending. Despite the surplus, which is much less when inflation is factored in, DFL legislators are urging caution – saying too much spending or tax cuts could quickly make the surplus disappear in future budget cycles.

Committee schedules continue to be packed, with many committees meeting late into the evening. The Senate’s first deadline is approaching quickly on March 10.