The Minnesota House of Representatives defeated an amendment by a vote of 56 to 70 today aimed at allowing individual municipalities to authorize Sunday liquor sales.
Legislators discussed the amendment offered by Rep. Jennifer Loon, R-48B, to HF 3699 for a little more than an hour. The arguments may have felt like déjà vu to anyone who has followed the issue over the years and centered around the effect of reversing the ban on small “mom and pop” liquor stores versus big box stores, whether the reversal would result in increased tax revenue and alcohol-related crimes, and why, despite polls showing a majority of Minnesotans support reversing the ban, the state has yet to change the current law.
Several legislators argued against the amendment because it was attached to a local government licensing bill for five specific liquor license approvals, and that it would be unfair to those five licensees for their approvals to live and die with a vote on Sunday sales. Those five projects include whether to allow South Minneapolis’ Cap’s Grille to become a brewpub and alcohol at the new Minnesota United FC soccer stadium in Midway. After the Sunday sales amendment was struck down, the bill passed by an overwhelming majority.
The below screenshot displays how House members voted on the Sunday sales amendment:
It’s unlikely that Sunday sales will come up for discussion again in the current legislative session, but The Growler will continue to monitor activity at the state capitol and provide updates if there is any additional movement on the issue.