Blog Post #5: Should Minnesota Lift its Liquor Sales on Sunday

Do you believe Minnesota should break an 80 year old ban on selling liquor on Sundays?

The Minnesota Post article talks about two ways that the Minnesota legislature could pass a bill for liquor to be sold on Sundays.  The first proposal is what everyone is hearing and would mostly like: a full lift of the 80 year old ban on liquor being sold over the counter for seven days a week.  While another proposal would let local governments would choose which liquor stores could sell booze on Sundays.

Who Oppose the Law!

The Minnesota Municipal Beverage Association and The Minnesota Licensed Beverage Association (MLBA) which is made up of state’s city-owned liquor stores, the Minnesota Beer Wholesalers Association (who also opposes wine being sold in grocery stores), and Teamsters Joint Council 32 are  among the top organizations that oppose a Sunday liquor sale.  Many view this as a “David versus Goliath argument, pitting small independent businesses versus giant chain stores.  This proposal could massively change the industry.  One small business owner says that “the big guys can handle the extra cost of being open on Sundays, but the small guys cannot.”

What About Me?

A counter argument can be the states that border Minnesota such as Wisconsin, Iowa, Illinois, North Dakota, and South Dakota can sell liquor on Sundays.  In fact Minnesota, Alabama, Indiana, Mississippi, Montana, North Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, South Carolina, Utah, and West Virginia are the only states that still follow the Sunday Blue Law

What Has Happened/Any Supporters!

In 2013, an amendment that tried to pass the house floor was turned down by a whopping 106 – 21 vote.  But in the end of that year growler sales did pass, with many last minute efforts that led to many teamsters who represent many distribution workers grumbling at the end.

Republican House Speaker Kurt Daudt and Governor Mark Dayton have been in full support of opening up liquor sales on Sunday.  Daudt says he has been trying to find supporters and votes in caucuses, where Dayton says he will pass the bill if one ever reaches his desk even though this is not one of his top priorities like transportation and education.  Even some former supporters like Senator Roger Reinart, DFL-Duluth are losing enthusiasm for advocating this proposal.

In the blog a contributor states that this year, the proposal has been getting the most attention than previous years.  Many Democrats and Republicans actually came together on this and almost passed on the proposed bill with several votes shy of a majority.

Quotes from State Leaders

Many state senators have given mixed quotes:

Sen. David Tomassoni, DFL-Chihsolm, “Main Street” liquor store owners’ need a day off.  If you need a bottle of wine on Sunday, buy it on Saturday.”

Sen. Dave Senjem, R-Rochester, told his colleagues it is simply time to change the law.

Here is a list of the Minnesota Senate roll call vote on the Sunday Liquor Sales as of: 4/16/2015  

Last Name First Name Party Vote
Anderson Bruce D. R N
Bakk Thomas M. DFL N
Benson Michelle R. R Y
Bonoff Terri E. DFL Y
Brown David M. R N
Carlson Jim DFL N
Chamberlain Roger C. R excused
Champion Bobby Joe DFL Y
Clausen Greg D. DFL N
Cohen Richard DFL N
Dahle Kevin L. DFL Y
Dahms Gary H. R N
Dibble D. Scott DFL Y
Dziedzic Kari DFL N
Eaton Chris A. DFL N
Eken Kent DFL N
Fischbach Michelle L. R excused
Franzen Melisa DFL Y
Gazelka Paul E. R N
Goodwin Barb DFL excused
Hall Dan D. R Y
Hann David W. R Y
Hawj Foung DFL Y
Hayden Jeff DFL N
Hoffman John A. DFL N
Housley Karin R Y
Ingebrigtsen Bill R N
Jensen Vicki DFL N
Johnson Alice M. DFL N
Kent Susan DFL Y
Kiffmeyer Mary R Y
Koenen Lyle DFL N
Latz Ron DFL N
Limmer Warren R N
Lourey Tony DFL N
Marty John DFL Y
Metzen James P. DFL N
Miller Jeremy R. R Y
Nelson Carla J. R Y
Newman Scott J. R Y
Nienow Sean R. R Y
Ortman Julianne E. R Y
Osmek David J. R Y
Pappas Sandra L. DFL Y
Pederson John C. R N
Petersen Branden R Y
Pratt Eric R. R Y
Reinert Roger J. DFL Y
Rest Ann H. DFL N
Rosen Julie A. R N
Ruud Carrie R N
Saxhaug Tom DFL N
Scalze Bev DFL Y
Schmit Matt DFL Y
Senjem David H. R Y
Sheran Kathy DFL excused
Sieben Katie DFL Y
Skoe Rod DFL N
Sparks Dan DFL N
Stumpf LeRoy A. DFL N
Thompson Dave R Y

I bet if it did pass, every legislature member would have closed office early to celebrate at the nearest bar and saying: Happy New Beer! Thriller Genuine Draft! The Pursuit of Hoppyness! Thank Goodness Now It’s Barley Legal! It’s Time To Hop, Drop, and Roll! I’m so Hoppy!

Here is a news video from WCCO’s Pat Kessler’s Reality Check:


2 thoughts on “Blog Post #5: Should Minnesota Lift its Liquor Sales on Sunday

  1. I have always been baffled as to why liquor stores are still closed on Sundays in Minnesota. This blog helped clarify things a bit, but it is still an obnoxiously stupid rule. The small business owner you quoted stated that smaller liquor stores wouldn’t be able to afford the cost of being open on Sundays. First of all, every liquor store would benefit exponentially from Sunday sales, especially during football season. Second, even if liquor stores were allowed to be open on Sundays, it is not like every one has to be open. That guy could just stay closed on Sundays while his competitors gain his old customers.

  2. I never understood why you couldn’t buy liquor on Sundays in Minnesota. We are still drinking with the stores being open or not. I will buy what I want to drink on Saturday, go out to a restaurant to drink, or once when I was younger i made the drive to Wisconsin.

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