In this time of economic hardship, it isn’t surprising that Minnesota lawmakers are debating whether to allow liquor sales on Sundays. Most states already allow this, with Minnesota being one of the only 13 states left to take on the more progressive business option regarding alcohol.
According to local reports, this year more of the public wants lawmakers to lift the ban on Sunday sales. That allegedly popular opinion, however, faces equal passion from those who think that Sunday sales could lead to a higher rate of drunk driving and alcoholism among Minnesota residents, whom laws are meant to protect.
The Star Tribune reports that of more than 800 Minnesotans recently polled, about 62 percent of them think that stores should be able to sell alcohol every day of the week. Sunday has been off limits for more than 100 years due to religious reasons, though opposition to the legislative proposal isn’t merely faith-based.
Some are surprised when they hear that it is liquor store owners who largely do not want Sunday sales legalized in Minnesota. Why is that? Even though it sounds like open Sundays would mean more money for the stores, sources report that owners and employees appreciate having a day off during the work week.
Advocates for the proposal see that Minnesota is losing money to nearby states that allow Sunday sales, such as Wisconsin. Financial loss is hard to accept during an economic boom, but even more difficult to swallow in these dark times.
When representatives presented the Sunday alcohol sales proposal on Tuesday, the House ultimately didn’t hear the bill. It sounds like no change to the Sunday sales law will happen until lawmakers take on the issue next year.
Star Tribune: “Minnesota Poll: Most say: Yes, sell liquor on Sundays,” Eric Roper, 11 May 2011