Once again, the common-sense quest to allow liquor sales on Sunday in the state of Minnesota has fallen prey to legislative indifference and the power of special interest lobbies.
On a 97-25 vote, an amendment to the omnibus liquor bill allowing such sales was defeated this afternoon. Carver County Representatives Joe Hoppe and Ernie Leidiger voted against the amendment, as shown in this picture of the voting record provided by Rep. John Kriesel.
Liquor is a legal product. You can go to a bar and order your favorite beverage on a Sunday. It makes no sense at all not to allow people to be able to go to a liquor store and buy it for their personal consumption.
Maybe someday, Minnesota will catch up to its neighbors and allow Sunday liquor sales. And — dare to dream — maybe someday we will allow liquor sales in grocery stores and other retail establishments as well!
[DISCLOSURE: I work for a company that owns and operates grocery stores, and advocates for such a change in the law.]
Opponents of liquor sales on Sundays argue that allowing sales on Sundays would add little new revenue — it would just re-arrange existing sales across seven days instead of six — and add expenses of being open on that seventh day.
That may very well be true. But you could say that of every kind of business. (Except for auto dealerships, that is, who also have the same protection in the law that liquor stores have.) Consumers should have the ability to buy the products on the day they like, and businesses can make the decision on when they want to be open to respond to that business. Liquor stores could choose not to be open on Sunday. It has been done in other industries that operate (sometimes) on a 24/7 schedule.