Sunday liquor sales officially passes Minnesota Legislature

Sunday liquor sales will start July 2 in Minnesota. The Minnesota House gaveled in at 3:30 p.m. Thursday to officially concur with the Senate version of the Sunday sales bill, which has a later start time of 11 a.m. and a closing time of 6 p.m.

Thursday's House floor vote of 88-39 now sends the Sunday liquor sales bill to the desk of Gov. Mark Dayton to become law. The governor has 3 days to either sign bill or let it become law without his signature. That means Sunday liquor sales will be legal in Minnesota on July 1. the very next day, July 2, will be the first Sunday under the new law.

“I am excited that after 4 years of championing Sunday sales legislation, we are finally changing an outdated law which has been in place since statehood,” said Rep. Jenifer Loon (R-Eden Prairie) who was the chief authored of the House bill. “Thanks to a strong grassroots effort by Minnesotans who advocated for this change and contacted their legislators, 2017 is the year we finally change this outdated law and allow liquor stores to serve their customers on Sundays.”

The Senate voted in favor of legalizing Sunday liquor sales on a 38-28 vote Monday. The House version of the Sunday sales bill, H.F. 30, passed on a floor vote earlier this month. The bills differed on what time stores can open on Sundays. The House version called for Sunday sales to start at 10 a.m., while the Senate bill set an 11 a.m. start.

Sunday sales have been banned since Minnesota’s statehood in 1858, but the 159-year prohibition will soon be repealed. Sunday sales will take effect in July.

So, why did Sunday sales pass so quickly this session after failing every other year? Lawmakers in previous years added the bill as an amendment on the House floor. But, this year the bill garnered so much support that, for the first time, it passed out of committee on its own.

Gov. Dayton recovering from surgery

Gov. Dayton underwent surgery Thursday morning at Mayo Clinic and is now resting. His office released the following statement:

“Governor Dayton’s surgery went as planned. The procedure concluded at approximately 11:30 this morning. The Governor is resting comfortably at Mayo Clinic in Rochester. As he recovers, he will be joined by his family and remain at the hospital overnight.”