It’s nothing new – the old “blue laws” are up for debate again this legislative session.
The repeal on the prohibition of Sunday Liquor Sales will be discussed this Wednesday at 2:30 at a hearing in the House Commerce Committee – which is open to the public. This outdated law has Minnesota on an Island – surrounded by bastions of Sunday liquor-buying states. Minnesota, considered to be quite progressive, is one of 12 states in the nation that is being left behind with no access to Sunday liquor sales, save across the river in Wisconsin – but it may be for a reason other than you might think.
Polls over the past half-decade have shown a majority of Minnesotans are in favor of legalizing Sunday Liquor sales. One county recently polled showed an astonishing 84% in support of the repeal of the ban on Sunday sales. With the public firmly behind the repeal, you may predict that the leading politicians in the state must be at odds; after all we have seen the repeal legislation come and go numerous times over the past few years without successfully passing. However, with bipartisan support beginning with Governor Dayton (D), House Speaker Kurt Daudt (R), and an astounding 91% of the legislature (of those who responded to a Fall 2014 survey) in support of the repeal of the ban, circumstances beg the question – who doesn’t support the repeal of this “blue law” and legalization of Sunday Liquor Sales? In short, special interest lobbying groups on behalf of liquor retailer associations who claim the added expense of being open another day during the week would hurt their bottom line.
However, case studies from the legalization of Sunday sales in other states (Washington and Colorado) have not only shown an increase in tax revenue but that the extra day, and incurred cost of having the stores open, does not result in a net loss for the stores, or at a loss of Saturday or Monday sales. Meaning, sales have shown to increase overall when liquor stores open a 7th day of the week. Furthermore, mandates requiring liquor stores to be open a 7th day are not apart of the proposal and such a enforcement would not exist.
According to a local advocacy group (sundaysalesmn.org), “Minnesota would generate a projected $10.8 to $15.1 million in new tax revenues from Sunday sale of beverage alcohol.”
Finally, to have a government regulate competition on behalf of an industry seems to be an overreach in the least. Not to mention to have that unpopular regulation propped up at the behest of special interest lobbyists that are in the minority of both public and political opinion.
So what practical action can you take to let your voice be heard and make the repeal on the ban of Sunday Sales a reality?
3 simple ways you can let your voice be heard by the Minnesota legislature:
- Attend the hearing at the House Commerce Committee April 8th at 2:30pm to be held in Room 10 in the Minnesota State Office Building (100 Rev Dr Martin Luther King Jr Blvd, Saint Paul, Minnesota 55103.)
- Email or phone your representative: http://www.gis.leg.mn/OpenLayers/districts/
- Sign the petition supporting the repeal on the ban of Sunday Liquor Sales: http://sundaysalesmn.org/
Be a bringer of joy this day. As always, cheers to you for reading me – check out more TallPour beer geekery at:
Special thanks to Meghan Lewis for the last minute editorial assistance.