ST. PAUL, Minn. - Selling liquor on Sundays is an idea that gets overwhelming public support and advocates were once again hoping this was their year to get a bill passed.
"The last poll that came out from (Minnesota Public Radio) had it at 87 percent. Eighty-seven percent of people don't agree on anything," says Andrew Schmitt, director of Minnesota Beer Activists.
Taking that populist movement to the House floor Wednesday was Rochester Rep. Tina Liebling (DFL).
"No liquor store will have to open on Sunday. We will not be telling them to open on Sunday. We will simply be removing the impediment to their doing so," said Liebling. "We will be giving our small businesses a choice."
Liebling pointed out that liquor and cars are the only items Minnesotans can't legally buy on Sundays.
Her arguments didn't sway Rep. Kurt Daudt, a Republican, who pointed out that many small liquor stores don't want it.
"They feel that they will be forced to be open on Sundays to compete with big box liquor stores that are encroaching on territory they've had for years," said Daudt.
The final vote had 21 members in support of legalizing Sunday liquor sales and 106 against.
Welcome news for liquor store owner Chuck Kanski, who says his opposition comes down to his bottom line.
"If you're going to increase by one day of the week, I think it's absurd that sales are going to shoot up because all the sudden it's now readily available. The statistics are there and it's not going to happen," says Kanski, who co-owns Solo Vino in St. Paul.
Minnesota remains one of 12 states that ban liquor sales on Sundays.
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