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Duluth Lawmaker Wants Liquor Sales on Sunday

Posted at: 01/30/2013 6:22 PM
Updated at: 01/30/2013 10:51 PM
By: Maarja Anderson
manderson@wdio.com

DFL Senator Roger Reinert introduced a Sunday sales bill back in 2011, but the bill didn't pass the finance committee so he's giving it another try. Every state that borders Minnesota allows for Sunday alcohol sales and Sen. Reinert says 2013 is the year to change the law.

"We are a free market society, consumers can make choices and people of faith who don't want to shop on Sunday can make that choice, others who want to can," said Sen. Reinert. "We just really don't need the government telling a business when it can be open and when it can't be."

Sen. Reinert said it is all about giving the consumers what they want and giving businesses options. Sunday sales could generate anywhere between $15 million to $150 million in tax revenue.

Some stores said a Sunday Sales bill could help their profits.

"I think initially it will help a little. It's going to take long term growth to see, it's going to take time and get people used to it," said sales associate at Super One Liquor, Robert Flick.

While Sunday liquor sales could mean increased profits for some, for mom and pop places like Last Chance Liquor, it could mean losing sales to bigger stores.

"I understand, especially here in the Duluth where Wisconsin is right over the bridge, it seems like the most convenient measure, but it's also opening the door to some scary bigger competition," said owner of Last Chance Liquor, Katie Hagglund.

Sen. Reinert said the bill will be introduced the first week in February, but he doesn't expect any more progress to be made than the last time he tried in 2011. The Commerce Chairs of both the Senate and the House said they don't intend to hear the bill.