Senate Committee Discusses Liquor Store Sales on Sundays

Posted at: 02/25/2013 4:20 PM
Updated at: 02/25/2013 6:10 PM
By: Brianna Long

(ABC 6 News) -- Should liquor stores in Minnesota be allowed to sell alcohol on Sundays? It's a question brought up at the state capital nearly every year, and today was no exception.

Larry Wood has been in the liquor store business for more than 30 years. He owns Woody's Liquor Store on Rochester, and like all other liquor stores in the state, he is closed on Sundays.

"Sunday's a day off. Our society's getting so commercialized. Everybody wants to be open seven days a week. When I grew up in the day, nothing was open on Sundays," said Wood.

The Senate Commerce Committee discussed a bill Monday that would give liquor stores the option to be open seven days a week.

"There are businesses that want to be open, there are customers that want to make a purchase. Why would the state get in the way of that? That's economic activity. That's jobs, that's tax revenue," said Senator Roger Reinert, from Duluth. He is authoring the bill, and says it also has to do with separation of church and state.

"This is just one area of the economy, because of religion in the early day, that we ban an activity on a sunday. I don't think it stands up with the court of law," said Reinert.

Wood says it would make things difficult for smaller business owners like himself.

"Every store that would stay open is going to have electricity, all your utilities, you'd have to staff it. I don't agree with a lot of the stuff that they're doing," said Wood.

There was no vote on the issue Monday. Reinert says it was just a chance to put the bill out there, so they can come back and revisit it. He also encourages people to contact their local legislators to weigh in on the debate.