A state Senate committee has approved a bill that would allow liquor stores to be open on Sundays.
The Commerce Committee also voted to change the bill to allow liquor stores to open every day of the year. Originally it required them to close on Christmas Day.
Sen. Roger Reinert, DFL-Duluth, sponsored the bill. He said Minnesota stores are at a disadvantage because border states don't have the Sunday restrictions.
"We know for a fact that we're losing revenue to our border state of Wisconsin," Reinert said, adding that a bigger issue to him was about freedom. "This is about freedom in the marketplace, freedom of choice, freedom for businesses to be open if they choose, freedom for customers to make a purchase should they choose."
Some store and tavern owners argued against the change, including Dan Campo, who represents the Tavern League and runs South Lyndale Liquors in Minneapolis.
"Businesses in border towns are not specifically losing money because of people going to Wisconsin," he argued. "This is not about loss of business. This is about trying to find other ways of doing things, and this business model of changing it so that we can allow to sell on Sunday increases our overhead and does things negatively."
The bill now heads to the Senate Finance Committee. A companion bill hasn't received a House hearing yet.