Sunday liquor rematch brewing at state Capitol

The fight over Sunday liquor sales will return to the Minnesota Legislature this year.

Lawmakers have several bills in the works aimed at lifting or modifying the state law that does not allow liquor stores to be open on Sundays. Previous attempts have failed, often by lopsided margins. But supporters keep trying.

Sen. David Osmek, R-Mound, said some proposals would allow cities to decide individually whether to allow Sunday sales. Osmek said he’ll introduce a bill to simply lift the statewide prohibition.

“I think as people start to debunk the myths that we currently have on Sunday sales, I think more and more people are going to come across and be in favor of letting businesses determine when they want to be open,” Osmek said.

DFL Gov. Mark Dayton has previously said he would sign a bill allowing Sunday sales if it landed on his desk.

The Minnesota Licensed Beverage Association is among the groups that support the current ban. There are also many like-minded legislators.

Rep. Greg Davids, R-Preston, said he voted against lifting the ban on Sunday sales in the past and will do it again this session when and if it comes up.

“Most of these liquor stores are small mom and pop shops, and they’d really like a day off,” Davids said. “It’s worked fine in Minnesota for many, many years. You know, if you open it up on Sundays you simply are spreading the same number of sales over another day. So, I’ve come down on the side of small business owners.”

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