The Minnesota House is set to vote this afternoon on a controversial bill that would allow liquor stores to be open on Sundays. House Speaker, Republican Kurt Daudt says it’s time to allow off-sale liquor on Sundays. “It has gained the support from the public,” he says, “and thereby has gained the support here in the House.”
But support in the Senate is more questionable, where Republican Majority Leader Paul Gazelka is against allowing liquor stores to be open on Sundays — although Gazelka has said he would let the bill come to the floor. Governor Mark Dayton says, “I’ll sign it if it comes to me, but I’m not investing a lot of effort — or much of any effort — in it one way or the other.”
Dayton says Minnesota’s population has become so diverse that Sunday liquor sales is not so much a question of religion as competing economic interests. Backers say state law shouldn’t force Minnesotans to buy ahead if they want a drink at home on Sunday. Opponents warn overhead costs of being open on Sundays will force “mom and pop” liquor stores out of business, while “big box” retailers will be able to remain open.