Senate Majority Leader Tom Bakk said Monday that a push to repeal the state's 80-year-old ban on Sunday liquor sales is still a long way from becoming law this session, despite renewed confidence from House Speaker Kurt Daudt that the measure has a 50-50 chance at clearing his chamber — and that if it does, it will become law.
"Unlikely," Bakk said succinctly, following Monday's Senate floor session. He said the measure's highest hurdle is in the House, which last took up Sunday sales as a floor amendment in 2013. It was soundly defeated, 106-21. A similar floor amendment also failed in the Senate last session, 42-22.
"Two years ago when Sunday sales was offered in the House, it had 21 votes, and not that many faces changed over there," Bakk said. He added that if it passed the House, "I'd be surprised."
Although several Sunday sales repeal measures have been introduced, they've gained little traction outside a House informational hearing last week, with no votes taken. However, it's expected to come up as a floor amendment.
Bakk, who has long opposed a repeal, didn't rule out its chances in the Senate.
"I don't know where the votes are in the Senate; I think it's fairly close," he said. "I expect it to be offered on the floor, but I've always thought the harder path was over on the House side."