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Could giving power to local government solve the Sunday liquor sales conundrum?


Another year, another attempt to overturn the ban on Sunday liquor sales.

It's a law that causes frustration to Minnesota shoppers, but which industry leaders argue could end up hitting small business owners in the pocket.

Previous attempts to overturn the ban have failed, but DFL Sen. Roger Reinert thinks he finally might have the answer – to give local governments the choice over whether to allow local liquor sales on Sundays, MinnPost reports.

This way city officials can opt out of the ban if there is strong local support from it, including from liquor stores. He intends to propose the legislation in the 2015 session.

Previous attempts to overturn the ban have failed, partly because of strong lobbying from groups such as the Minnesota Municipal Beverage Association and theMinnesota Licensed Beverage Association.

They have previously argued that local storeowners would feel obliged to open on Sundays to remain competitive, and many don't believe they would make enough money to cover the cost of opening.

Reinert, who will be working with GOP Rep. Jenifer Loon on the legislation, has previously considered giving local government the power to opt out of the statewide ban, the Associated Press reports.

And considering his previous attempts for a wholesale scrapping of the ban have failed, Reinert thinks his latest proposal could appeal to both sides.

"I've always thought that was a sensible compromise and it allows us to take community norms into consideration," he told MinnPost.

Gov. Mark Dayton has previously indicated he would support a bill lifting the Sunday liquor sales ban if it passed.

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