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Last attempt this year at scrapping Sunday liquor sales ban fails

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The last hope of a repeal of the ban on Sunday liquor sales in 2015 failed on Tuesday with another narrow defeat – this time in the Minnesota House.

Lawmakers met to discuss legislation allowing the sales of 64-ounce "Growlers," as well as the "Bloody Mary bill," permitting bars to sell alcohol as early as 8 a.m. on Sundays – both of which were passed according to the Star Tribune.

But an amendment was introduced that would have repealed the 80-year-old ban on liquor stores selling alcohol on Sundays, another effort to scrap the ban, following on from a similar attempt which failed in Minnesota's Senate earlier this month.

An effort was made to compromise by supporters of Sunday liquor sales, with the amendment saying local governments would be given power over whether they wanted to allow Sunday sales in their area, according to WCCO reporter Patrick Kessler.

The proposal was put forward by Rep. Jenifer Loon, R-Eden Prairie, MPR reports, who said: "If this is something that your community wants, your local government should have the ability to make that choice."

Minnesota is one of only 12 states to ban Sunday liquor sales. Supporters of the repeal say the state is losing business to rivals in Wisconsin (where there is no ban).

MPR notes that those favoring the ban say local liquor stores don't want to be open on Sundays. Rep. John Considine, DFL-Mankato, described the effort as "an all-out assault on mom and pop liquor stores," while others expressed concern about alcohol abuse.

Dale Szyndrowski, of the Distilled Spirits Council, told the Pioneer Press that advocates of Sunday sales will try again next year, saying it's a "question of when, not if" the ban is scrapped.

Palcohol to be banned – for now

Also included as an amendment was a bill to prohibit the sale of powdered alcohol in Minnesota until more tests can be done to, which was passed unanimously by the House.

It was introduced by Rep. Joe Atkins, DFL-Inver Grove Heights, and states that the sale of palcohol will be banned until the Commissioner of Health could review and report to lawmakers on any safety concerns.

Rep. Atkins said: "I have heard concerns from parents and school officials about powdered alcohol packets making it easier to sneak alcohol into school and school events, and this was the right vote for us to take."

The move was taken after the federal government approved the sale of powdered alcohol, which is mixed with water to create alcoholic drinks, in March.

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