Reps Considine & Cornish make opposite votes on Sunday liquor sales
By Joe Steck – Mankato Times
ST PAUL, MINN. – On a bipartisan vote of 85 to 45, the Minnesota House of Representatives has approved legislation that would allow you to buy off-sale liquor on Sundays (HF 30). Minnesota is currently one of 12 states with a prohibition on the sale of intoxicating beverages on Sundays, none of which border Minnesota.
State Representative Jack Considine (DFL-Mankato) voted against the measure while State Representative Tony Cornish (R-Vernon Center) voted in favor of the bill.
The bill would allow retailers to sell alcohol between 10:00 AM and 6:00 PM on Sundays, effective July 1, 2017, but it would prohibit the delivery or acceptance of alcohol to an off-sale retailer on Sundays.
Off-sale liquor sales are currently permitted between 8:00 AM and 10:00 PM Monday through Saturday and is known as a “Blue Law.”
A blue law is a category of law that regulates shopping on Sunday. These laws are designed to restrict or ban shopping for religious standards, particularly the observance of a day of worship or rest (source: Wikipedia).
This bill does not require liquor stores to operate on Sundays, but removes the legal prohibition against doing so.
In a statement, Rep. Considine stated the push for Sunday sales is coming from big box stores in an effort to eliminate small, locally-owned liquor stores.
“The ban on Sunday liquor sales is an issue that has been raised consistently during session for years in St. Paul. While I recognize that repealing our state’s ban would provide consumers with one more day a week to purchase liquor, the negative effect it would have on smaller liquor stores is substantial,” Said Rep. Considine “Numerous owners have expressed similar concerns to me: being open Sunday would not bring the business needed to justify it. I voted ‘no’ to avoid forcing small businesses – the fabric of our local economy – into this impossible position. If we do not provide this protection, they will disappear like local department stores and pharmacies; that is not good for Mankato and it is not good for our state.”
Rep Cornish said his constituents are overwhelmingly in favor of Sunday sales.
“When I visit with people in bars, Legions, or VFW’s, the customers almost unanimously approve of it. This was an easy ‘yes’ vote for me,” Rep. Cornish said “It’s time to finally admit that the over-regulation by the government isn’t really working in that area. Let people do what they want when it comes to buying alcohol on a certain day of the week.”
The Sunday sales bill now heads to the Minnesota Senate for further debate.
How they voted:
Those who voted in the affirmative were:
|Albright||Allen||Anderson, S.||Anselmo||Bahr, C.|
|Barr, R.||Becker-Finn||Bennett||Bliss||Carlson, A.|
|Daudt||Davnie||Dean, M.||Dehn, R.||Dettmer|
Those who voted in the negative were:
|Gunther||Heintzeman||Howe||Johnson, B.||Johnson, S.|
|Marquart||Maye Quade||Miller||Moran||Murphy, M.|