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How Did Rochester-Area Legislators Vote on Sunday Liquor Sales Bill?

Minnesota State Capitol
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On Monday, it was announced that a bill that would allow liquor sales on Sundays in Minnesota had passed through the Minnesota House of Representatives by a vote of 85-45. While the bill had strong support statewide, it had even stronger support from Rochester-area House members.

The Rochester area, which makes up Districts 25 and 26 in the state House of Representatives, is currently comprised of four representatives. Two of those representatives are Democrats and two are Republicans. And or our area’s four House members, three voted the same way on this bill.

Duane Quam, the Republican representative from District 25A voted NO on the bill. Duane Sauke, the DFL representative from District 25B, Tina Liebling, another Democrat, representing District 26A and Nels Pierson, a Republican representative from District 26 B all voted YES on the bill, which would allow liquor stores to open their doors from 10 AM to 6 PM on Sundays.

Representative Sauke called and explained that he voted on the bill with the consumer in mind. “We have changed as a consumer society,” Sauke said. “We now make any kind of purchase decision in a different world than in the past, and it was this argument from the consumer point of view that led me to vote the way I did.”

Sauke said that two minor, but important, pieces of the legislation also factored into his decision. First, he believes the limited Sunday hours, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. make the additional labor issues more manageable for small- to mid-sized liquor stores. Second, he felt the agreement that there would be no delivery of new inventory to stores on Sundays would keep the process simple and not add burden to the distributors.

The St. Paul Pioneer Press created a graphic to show how representatives across the state voted.

What do you think of the bill? Should the State Senate follow suit and pass the legislation, for Governor Dayton to sign into law? If it became law, would it have an impact on how you purchase or consume liquor?

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