Senate passes bill to repeal Sunday liquor sales ban

Minnesota’s 159-year-old ban on Sunday liquor sales is poised to fall after the state Senate voted on Monday to repeal the law. By a vote of 38 to 28, the Senate passed House File 30, which would allow liquor stores to open from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Sundays. The vote came only one week after the House passed the bill with a similar bipartisan vote. Gov. Dayton has indicated he will sign it when it reaches his desk.

The bill’s chief author, Sen. Jeremy Miller (R-Winona), made the following statement:

“It has taken several years of work, meetings, and education to get to this point, but I couldn’t be happier for the people of Minnesota. This is the strongest grassroots effort by the people that I’ve seen on any issue during my time in the Senate.

“This entire effort has always been about choice. No liquor store will be required to be open on Sundays, but they should have the choice to do so if they want, just as consumers should have the choice to buy beer, wine, and liquor on whatever day is most convenient for them.

“More importantly, with the February budget forecast set to be announced tomorrow, I’m happy we were able to get this issue done early, and now we can focus our energy on putting together a responsible, sustainable budget that is good for Minnesota.”

The House version of the bill limits stores’ Sunday hours of operation from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. The House will now choose to accept the Senate’s version, or request a conference committee to work out the difference, before sending it to Gov. Dayton for his signature.