Dayton's signature starts countdown to Sunday liquor sales

Huge wine selection
A customer browses the more than 8,000 types of wines at Total Wine in Roseville, Minn. July 29, 2014.
Jeffrey Thompson/MPR News 2014

Let the countdown begin: Shopping for wine, beer and liquor on a Sunday will be allowed in Minnesota starting in July.

Gov. Mark Dayton signed the bill Tuesday that dispenses with the ban on liquor stores doing business on that day. It's a restriction said to reach back to statehood, that was fortified at the end of Prohibition.

Now, there are just 16 more Sundays between consumers and their ability to buy alcohol all seven days in the week.

"This new law reflects the desires of most people in Minnesota, who have made it clear to their legislators that they want to have this additional option," Dayton said in announcing his signature on the final day for him to act.

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Some store owners had long resisted a change, arguing it wasn't profitable to be open seven days a week.

But pressure from convenience-minded constituents and lobbying by bigger players in the liquor industry helped tip the scale.

The bill passed both legislative chambers with room to spare — it rang up 88 votes in the House and 38 in the Senate — in the first year it was considered as a standalone measure.

The liquor stores that do open on Sundays can't sell to customers before 11 a.m. or after 6 p.m., which are more limited hours than other days of the week.

Republican House Speaker Kurt Daudt made it a personal mission to get the bill passed, signing on as a cosponsor to GOP Rep. Jenifer Loon's bill.

"Just in time for Independence Day, Minnesotans will have the freedom to buy beer and wine on Sunday for the first time in state history beginning July 2," Daudt said in a statement after Dayton's action.