On Wednesday we broke down the powerful factions standing in the way of legalizing Sunday liquor sales.
There's a decent shot this may be the year those forces are defeated, with both the governor and House majority leader on board. So far six bills taking aim at the ban have been introduced.
The bills take a number of different tactics, from simply allowing breweries to sell growlers on Sunday to going for an outright, full-on repeal.
These two bills are exactly the same. The Republican-backed proposals would allow breweries producing less than 20,000 barrels per year (basically every variety of local beer but Summit, Grain Belt, Schell's, and Surly) to sell 64-ounce growlers and/or 750 mL bottles on Sundays. This same proposal was shut down by Teamsters last year.
Cities' Choice HF 130
This bipartisan effort has 10 authors, three DFL and seven GOP. It would insert three lines into the existing liquor law allowing "the governing body of a municipality [to] authorize within its jurisdiction, the sale of intoxicating liquor by an off-sale licensee between 8:00 a.m. and 10:00 p.m. on Sunday."
Trial Run in Select Counties HF 131
Republican Rep. Steve Drazkowski is proposing to let Winona, St. Louis, and Anoka counties sell booze on Sunday for the next five years, just to see how it feels. The four-term representative's district includes part of Winona County.
The House version was sponsored by almost exactly the same crew that sponsored the cities' choice option. This is obviously the best, most common-sense approach. Just repeal it and get it over with.
A lot can happen between now and when the session wraps up in May, but this is a solid start. We'll keep you updated as these bills attempt to work through committee.
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