Sunday liquor sales took another step forward on Wednesday as the Senate Commerce Committee voted 7–4 in favor a bill aimed at lifting the Prohibition-era ban.
The bill will now head to the Senate floor for a vote. While a date for the vote has not been set, it’s expected to take place in the coming week or two. On Monday, the House of the Representatives passed a companion bill that would lift the ban in an 85–45 vote.
The main discrepancy between the Senate and House versions of the “Sunday sales” bill is in the hours of operation for liquor retailers on Sundays. The Senate version limits the hours of operation to 11am–6pm, while the House version sets the hours of operation at 10am–6pm.
If the Senate approves the bill in its current form, the two legislative bodies would need to reconcile the differences between the bills in a conference committee, and then bring them back to the floors of their respective houses for a full re-vote. Alternatively, the Senate bill could be amended on the floor ahead of the vote to bring it into alignment with the House bill and avoid the conference committee process. If that happens and the Senate passes the bill, it would go directly to Governor Mark Dayton, who has said he’d sign it into law.
The Growler will update this story with new information about the impending Senate floor vote as it becomes available.