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Minnesota Sunday liquor sales bill gets final OK; Dayton to sign

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The Minnesota House on Thursday sent a final bill to Gov. Mark Dayton to end the state's longtime ban on Sunday liquor sales. The change could start in July.
Jeffrey Thompson | MPR News file

The Minnesota House on Thursday sent a final bill to Gov. Mark Dayton to end the state's longtime ban on Sunday liquor sales. Dayton has said he'll sign it. The change could start in July.

Minnesota is one of just 12 states that still ban Sunday liquor sales. Supporters say lifting Minnesota's ban, which dates back to Prohibition, would mean an end to cross-border beer runs into Wisconsin and North and South Dakota on Sundays that cost the state tax revenue.

Opponents from the liquor industry argued that allowing Sunday sales wouldn't net stores more profit, but would increase costs and hurt small town liquor stores the most.

Backers, though, said public support gave the measure the momentum needed to pass this year. 

The House and Senate had passed similar bills earlier in the session with only one significant difference: The Senate bill allowed for stores to open at 11 a.m. while the House version set a 10 a.m. opening. 

House lawmakers agreed Thursday to the Senate's 11 a.m. opening, passing the legislation in an 88-39 vote. Stores will close at 6 p.m. 

Lifting the Sunday ban won't necessarily open liquor stores in every community. Municipal prohibitions on Sunday sales will remain in effect unless local officials reverse them. The legislation gives liquor stores the option of opening for business on Sundays.