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Senate panel inches Sunday liquor sales forward

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Surdyks liquor
Liquor store, Surdyks, shown Wednesday, March 16, 2011 in Minneapolis.
AP Photo 2011

A Minnesota Senate panel has moved the state one step closer to legalizing Sunday liquor sales.

The House overwhelmingly passed a bill earlier this week that would repeal the ban. It's an historic turn in lawmakers' long struggle to change the decades-old law.

But the Senate has long been regarded as a tougher hurdle in advocates' push to repeal the Sunday sales ban. The Senate Commerce Committee approved a bill on a 7-4 vote Wednesday. The bill still must pass the full Senate floor. It's unclear when that may come up for a final vote.

Gov. Mark Dayton has said he'll sign a bill legalizing Sunday sales. Minnesota is one of just 12 states that prevents liquor stores from opening on Sundays.