This week I had the idea of writing to government officials, since there are primary elections around the corner (August 12th). I sent out emails to 110- some odd number- representatives/candidates of the state of Minnesota with a list of straightforward questions. The results were a plethora of auto replies, and the seldom typed response. This week’s question has to do specifically with Sunday Liquor Sale Laws in Minnesota. The emails are not edited or adulterated in any way whatsoever, and the inquiries are real.
I dedicate this to all of the local magazines that cover trivial issues instead of topics with pertinence, ones that truly affect the citizens and the state of Minnesota. Your hit-bait gets you ads, real writing gets you thought. Now think about that.
My name is Terry Scott Niebeling. I am a resident of Minnesota, a student at the University of Minnesota, and an eager voter. Recently, I have found a new passion in politics. That being said, I am writing to you in hopes that you can help me better understand a few issues that I have come to appreciate in regards to Minnesota law, if you could help me with my inquiry that would be extremely helpful. I am also asking information for an un-bias social experience*; to get clear and succinct viewpoints from candidates, in order to better cast a meaningful vote.
My first inquiries are:
What is your stance on Sunday Liquor Sales in Minnesota?
Do you find it a necessary law, and why?
What are your plans in the future for Sunday liquor sales in Minnesota; do you plan on keeping them the same, or do you plan on making any changes?
How does Minnesota’s current Sunday Liquor Sales law affect the state and local economy?
What is your relationship to the MMBA?
I thank you for your time and consideration.
Terry Scott Niebeling
*which may, or may not, be published.
Thank you for your inquiry.
This law should be repealed. The old Blue Law prohibiting Sunday Sales is unnecessary and has a nexus to religious views of Sunday as the Sabbath. In other religions, the Sabbath is on another day of the week.
I chief authored and introduced legislation last session that would have repealed the prohibition of Sunday Sales of liquor in Minnesota. The legislation did not pass the DFL majority.
Minnesotans whom reside along the borders of our state find it easy to purchase liquor on Sundays across state lines. Minnesotans whom reside further away from the state borders find geography and distance a barrier to their exercise of free choice to purchase a legally distributed product on the day of their choice.
It is estimated that approximately 12 million dollars per year of sales tax revenue is paid to border states by Minnesota residents. Repeal of Sunday Sales restrictions does not require any liquor retailer to remain open on Sunday. Although competitive market conditions may cause some retailers to decide to remain open when they may rather not, that decision is a matter of choice.
There is no evidence that Sunday Sales would contribute to greater risk to public safety. It could be argued that many whom consume at bars and restaurants on Sundays may choose to purchase and consume safely at home without the risk of driving.
In a session that was being touted as an “Un-Session”, presumably to get rid of antiquated and unnecessary regulations, a possible repeal opportunity was lost by the DFL majority’s acquiescence to labor unions whom did not want to re-negotiate contracts (presumably they believed that they would have to distribute product on Sundays) killed the legislative possibility of several Sunday Sales repealers having been introduced, including mine, from becoming law.
I have no affiliation nor association with MMBA or the liquor industry.
Rep. Jerry Hertaus, 33A