Sunday Liquor Sales and other Beer/Liquor Legislation

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Ubermoose
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Sunday Liquor Sales and other Beer/Liquor Legislation

Postby Ubermoose » April 10th, 2013, 11:01 am

Sunday sales is a subject that is very important to friends of mine. I am embarassed by this antiquated law. It is not an exaggeration to say that every weekend that I work downtown I have to explain to a visitor that they can't buy alcohol on Sunday's in Minnesota.
The House Commerce Committee is going to hear a bill today at 4:00, HF 521, which will allow 1 Sunday, Superbowl Sunday, for liquor sales.
It would be a small victory if this passed, but a major step in the right direction.

Chauncey87
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Re: Sunday Liquor Sales and other Beer/Liquor Legislation

Postby Chauncey87 » April 10th, 2013, 2:01 pm

WOW the one sunday everybody has been prepping for weeks! Sorry but why could this not be the sunday before July 4th or St. Pattys day. What about just every sunday? Liquor stores might cry and tell you they need a day off. This is one thing we should really have allowed years ago!

mattaudio
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Re: Sunday Liquor Sales and other Beer/Liquor Legislation

Postby mattaudio » April 10th, 2013, 2:10 pm

Anyone here represented by one of the committee members?
http://www.house.leg.state.mn.us/comm/c ... comm=88004

If so, please ask them to submit an amendment to HF 521 this afternoon:

1. Change Superbowl Sunday to all Sundays
2. Remind the MLBA that their members, like any other actors in the private market, are not required to be open on any given day if they so wish.

twincitizen
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Re: Sunday Liquor Sales and other Beer/Liquor Legislation

Postby twincitizen » April 10th, 2013, 2:13 pm

MinnPost had something about the dim prospects of the corresponding Senate bill: http://www.minnpost.com/politics-policy ... ytime-soon

Sen. Roger Reinert of Duluth has said he is willing to push the issue, but needs to hear (a lot) of support from constituents, and not just people commenting on message boards and talking to their friends.

“This issue is not going anywhere, and it’s not going anywhere until all of the people out there who stop me all the time and say, ‘Hey, we love it,’ are willing to do more than just tell me they love it,” a beleaguered Reinert said in an interview. “Primarily because the strength of the liquor store lobby.”

It seems clear where public opinion is on this issue. The problem is that the liquor lobby is very powerful and wealthy and are dead set against this. (Most) liquor store owners feel that they will be spreading the same 6 days worth of sales over 7 days, hurting their bottom line. To me, they are hiding behind the protection of an antiquated law, rather than giving consumers what they want. No other industry, except automobile sales, has a mandated day off.

While I appreciate Sen. Reinert's willingness to bring the issue up even when it is certain to fail, if he and others in our legislature had conviction, they would go ahead and take a stand against the liquor store lobby, confident that the public is on their side.

The ban on Sunday sales might be inconvenient and embarassing to Minnesotans, but it's not the kind of issue that people are going to pack the Capitol rotunda, holding up signs and singing songs in support of booze. People care about this issue, but not that much.

nordeast homer
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Re: Sunday Liquor Sales and other Beer/Liquor Legislation

Postby nordeast homer » April 10th, 2013, 2:22 pm

They argue that they will see additional cost with no monetary benefit because they don't believe they will see an increase in sales...I believe they completely underestimate the ability of Minnesotans to drink more and I know a couple of people that are willing to prove them wrong all by themselves!

nasa35

Re: Sunday Liquor Sales and other Beer/Liquor Legislation

Postby nasa35 » April 10th, 2013, 3:21 pm

nordeast homer wrote:They argue that they will see additional cost with no monetary benefit because they don't believe they will see an increase in sales...I believe they completely underestimate the ability of Minnesotans to drink more and I know a couple of people that are willing to prove them wrong all by themselves!
I have made a few saturday runs for some GIN!

seanrichardryan
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Re: Sunday Liquor Sales and other Beer/Liquor Legislation

Postby seanrichardryan » April 13th, 2013, 9:22 pm

Q. What, what? A. In da butt.

thatchio
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Re: Sunday Liquor Sales and other Beer/Liquor Legislation

Postby thatchio » April 14th, 2013, 2:24 pm

I read in SLP Patch a while back that Edina and SLP were 50/50. This relaxation in Minneapolis to 50/50 is a step in the right direction, but I agree with Kim Bartmann, which is the whole approach needs to be revisited.

mamundsen
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Re: Sunday Liquor Sales and other Beer/Liquor Legislation

Postby mamundsen » April 15th, 2013, 8:58 am

Bread & Pickle are fighting with Minneapolis over the area that they would be able to serve beer and wine.

http://blogs.citypages.com/food/2013/04 ... r_beer.php

To me it looks like the city wants to limit them to a VERY small area that doesn't even reach their seating area. I'm with B&P on this one.

twincitizen
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Re: Sunday Liquor Sales and other Beer/Liquor Legislation

Postby twincitizen » April 18th, 2013, 6:58 pm

Interesting anecdotal story about the impending death of 3.2 beer bars, which I didn't even know existed

http://www.vita.mn/food-drink/203660281.html

mplsjaromir
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Re: Sunday Liquor Sales and other Beer/Liquor Legislation

Postby mplsjaromir » April 19th, 2013, 7:43 am

I've spending a good amount of time in Wisconsin for work lately, and I have made an observation. Minnesota makes it unnecessarily difficult to purchase alcoholic beverages and spirits. Wisconsin makes it unnecessarily difficult to operate a health club as a business proposition. It makes a difference in the appearance of the population.

Chauncey87
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Re: Sunday Liquor Sales and other Beer/Liquor Legislation

Postby Chauncey87 » December 29th, 2013, 1:27 pm

"Minnesota Gov. Dayton would sign bill lifting ban on Sunday liquor store sales"

"ST. PAUL, Minn. — Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton said Friday he'd sign a bill allowing liquor stores to open on Sundays if lawmakers muster the votes to pass it in next year's session.

Dayton told The Associated Press in an exclusive interview that he won't personally push for the bill's passage, but wouldn't get in its way either. Supporters of the change have said the measure dovetails with Dayton's call to make the 2014 session about clearing the statute books of outdated or redundant laws and speeding up transactions government has a role in."

http://www.startribune.com/local/237538481.html

Looks like this idea of Sunday liquor sales is sticking around. Who knows in another 10 years or so of hmm's and haw's everybody will be able to pick up a 40 at the corner liquor store on Sunday.

ECtransplant
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Re: Sunday Liquor Sales and other Beer/Liquor Legislation

Postby ECtransplant » December 29th, 2013, 1:33 pm

And when will I be able to get wine and beer at the grocery store, like in every other civilized state?

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Avian
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Re: Sunday Liquor Sales and other Beer/Liquor Legislation

Postby Avian » December 29th, 2013, 6:40 pm

mplsjaromir wrote:I've spending a good amount of time in Wisconsin for work lately, and I have made an observation. Minnesota makes it unnecessarily difficult to purchase alcoholic beverages and spirits....
Try buying beer and liquor in Pennsylvania. :) You have to go to a special "beer distributor," then to a spirits store and then to a third store to buy mixers.

“Wise men speak because they have something to say; fools because they have to say something.”
― Plato

twincitizen
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Re: Sunday Liquor Sales and other Beer/Liquor Legislation

Postby twincitizen » December 30th, 2013, 2:57 pm

The coalition committed to keeping the status quo is huge (labor union distributors, smaller/independent liquor stores, statewide municipal liquor association, and social conservatives). The pro-Sunday sales group is basically unorganized consumers and a beer advocacy group. The bill failed miserably in the House last time around.

Dayton's position is that of a coward. He says he'll sign a bill that might not even make it to the floor for a vote. Why even bring it up at all if you're not going to push for it?

All I'm saying is: Don't be surprised when your legislator(s) vote against Sunday sales, if it even makes it out of committee.

Chauncey87
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Re: Sunday Liquor Sales and other Beer/Liquor Legislation

Postby Chauncey87 » January 2nd, 2014, 6:55 pm

"GOP group plans town hall meeting on ending ban on Minnesota's Sunday liquor sales"

"Another attempt to end Minnesota's ban on Sunday liquor sales will be mounted in the Legislature this session, and GOP state Rep. Steve Drazkowski of Mazeppa hopes to get the issue rolling with a town hall meeting later this month."

http://www.minnpost.com/political-agend ... quor-sales

Well all I can say is good luck to those pushing to get this passed.

talindsay
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Re: Sunday Liquor Sales and other Beer/Liquor Legislation

Postby talindsay » January 2nd, 2014, 10:57 pm

Yes, generally I like my representative but I was shocked to find him supportive of the ban; his reasoning is this nonsensical circular small business argument, and I point out both that (1) if it's good enough for small liquor stores, why was it not good enough for small hardware stores, grocery stores, shoe stores, convenience stores, etc? And (2) if a day off is so important why not let them choose which day instead of forcing "the lord's day" on them? If the argument were really about small business then the day wouldn't be Sunday - what small business voluntarily closes on a day when people can come easily, whenever they want?

The reality is that it's a blue law, plain and simple, that sticks around because it gives a big break to established interests with deep pockets. Sadly, the DFL, typically most opposed to church and state intermingling, are too deeply in the pockets of the affected business groups to even see the absurdity of their position.

gpete
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Re: Sunday Liquor Sales and other Beer/Liquor Legislation

Postby gpete » January 3rd, 2014, 7:32 am

I've heard that even more than "mom and pop" shops, it's the municipally-owned liquor stores that effectively lobby against this bill. They don't want to risk losing any part of this important revenue stream.

This audit has some interesting numbers, and it shows that there are 208 cities that run their own liquor stores in Minnesota. When it comes to lobbying, that's a huge coalition. http://www.osa.state.mn.us/Reports/gid/ ... report.pdf

It should be mentioned that this same coalition is the major roadblock that prevents us from being able to buy liquor/wine in grocery stores and convenience stores.

fehler
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Re: Sunday Liquor Sales and other Beer/Liquor Legislation

Postby fehler » January 3rd, 2014, 9:55 am

Dayton's position is not cowardly, its an acceptable statement. There are many legislators on one side or another who will give their only reason to oppose as "the Governor won't sign it anyways". Now those individuals won't have that shield to hide behind.

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woofner
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Re: Sunday Liquor Sales and other Beer/Liquor Legislation

Postby woofner » January 3rd, 2014, 11:28 am

gpete wrote:I've heard that even more than "mom and pop" shops, it's the municipally-owned liquor stores that effectively lobby against this bill. They don't want to risk losing any part of this important revenue stream.
You heard wrong. Check out this report from the legislative auditor:

http://www.auditor.state.mn.us/reports/ ... eport.pdf‎

In 2011 there were 10 times more cities with a municipal liquor store than cities that paid for legislative lobbying services in 2011. I could find only 3 cities that both had a muni in 2011 and paid for individual lobbying services in 2012. Many more cities paid association dues to an organization that lobbies the legislature for municipal issues, but neither the League of MN Cities nor the Coalition of Greater MN cities have much of anything on their websites about liquor.

This makes sense when you consider that the majority of munis are in small isolated towns that provide liquor sales as a service. The American retail model has failed these towns and if not for the munis people would be driving dozens of miles for liquor (admittedly an alternative would probably be to allow liquor sales in convenience stores). This type of town rarely has the money for a lobbyist, and indeed many of them are shutting their money-losing munis (see page 15 of the report you linked to). Personally I think Munis are a great way to maintain community in small, atomizing, rural communities and I'd like to see the state remove the hearing requirement on money-losing Muni operations. While I think the Sunday sales prohibition is stupid I think the requirement that liquor sales be separated from other operations is a meaningful wall against the big boxing of Minnesota and dream of extending it to other retail categories. It might be easy to go WalMart for all your shopping needs but there is general societal value to the multiple specialty shop model.

And I doubt that the liquor store lobby is all that deep-pocketed or effective; it seems more likely to me that politicians aren't willing to risk angering seniors (99% of the constituents they actually interact with) for a fairly petty issue like this. We saw with the Surly bill how a little bit of organizing will send the liquor lobby packing, and I can see that happening again with the Sunday sales initiative.

ps obv i'm a commie
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