The first measures to repeal the ban on Sunday liquor sales were filed in the Minnesota House and Senate Monday, the first of many expected legislative attempts to reverse the Prohibition-era “blue law.”
The Senate bill, authored by Sen. David Osmek, R-Mound, would allow liquor sales between noon and 10 p.m. on Sundays. Osmek said last week that the bill was a first step, and that he would be open to further negotiation, such as bills that would allow individual cities to decide whether they want to sell liquor.
A pair of bills, would allow small brewers to sell growlers on Sundays--a move shot down last year when the Teamsters objected, saying it could reopen their labor contracts and potentially interfere with wages and benefits.
Rep. Steve Drazkowski, R-Mazeppa, who co-authored a number of House bills, also authored a measure giving cities control over whether they want to sell alcohol on Sundays. Drazkowski also filed a bill proposing a five-year "pilot project" of Sunday sales in Anoka, St. Louis and Winona Counties.
Sunday liquor sales, an issue where both supporters and detractors cross political lines, has stalled at the Legislature, but proponents of a repeal say the effort has new life thanks to a Republican-controlled house where Speaker Kurt Daudt has expressed his support.
The influential liquor lobby remains opposed to Sunday sales, saying the measure would spread six days of sales across seven days, and that the profits would not justify the added labor costs. Although stores would have the option of being open, they say they would be forced to stay open to keep up with larger competitors.