By Rep. Tony Jurgens, 2/24/2017
Hello from the State Capitol,
Want to buy a case of beer or a bottle of wine on Sundays in Hastings or Cottage Grove? If so, you’ll be pleased to learn that the Minnesota House has approved legislation allowing Sunday liquor sales.
For 80 years, Minnesota has banned the sale of this legal product on Sundays, and because of it we lose an estimated $10 million in tax collections each biennium. Minnesota is currently one of 12 states with a prohibition on the sale of intoxicating beverages on Sundays, none of which border Minnesota.
Off-sale liquor sales are currently permitted between 8:00 AM and 10:00 PM Monday through Saturday. Under the House-approved bill, retailers could sell alcohol between 10:00 AM and 6:00 PM on Sundays, effective July 1, 2017, but the delivery or acceptance of alcohol to an off-sale retailer on Sundays would be prohibited.
Worth noting: this bill does not require liquor stores to operate on Sundays; it simply removes the legal prohibition against doing so.
My constituent correspondence has been overwhelmingly in favor of ending the ban. I made a point of contacting all of our district’s liquor store owners as well, and slightly more favored allowing Sunday sales than not, so I certainly felt comfortable with my ‘yes’ vote.
The Sunday liquor sales bill now heads to the Minnesota Senate for further debate.
Our state’s latest budget forecast is expected to be unveiled on February 28. That will be our most up-to-date guideline on Minnesota’s expected revenue collections and expenditures, which means we will soon begin focusing on setting the state’s budget for the next two years. I’ll share more about Minnesota’s economic outlook in a future update.
Meeting with constituents is truly the most enjoyable part of my job as your state representative, and I’m pleased to have visited with many recently.
Last week I visited with the residents and staff at the Hastings Veterans Home and learned more about their legislative concerns and how I can help.
Not long ago I also took part in St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Community Visitor Day in Hastings. Here, I’m pictured with 5th graders Madelyn Chandler and Derek Kelleher who served as my very kind hosts.
Corrie & Kyle Kropelnicki, along with their kids Kyler, Cadan & Karson visited with me in St. Paul this week taking part in Decoding Dyslexia Minnesota at the Capitol.
Minnesota’s athletic trainers also had their day at the Capitol, and I was pleased to sit down with Cottage Grove resident Aaron Benson.
Wednesday also marked Minnesota School Bus Driver Appreciation Day. Early that morning, I was able to meet with local drivers, aides, dispatchers and mechanics from the Hastings Bus Company in the City of Hastings and at the Denmark Township terminal to show my appreciation.
Finally, I had the pleasure of meeting with a pair of students from the St. Croix Alternative Learning Center as part of Alternative Learning Center Day at the Capitol. Afton constituent Sarah Breems and Nate Schnettler asked if they could meet with me briefly while they were here, but I asked them if they wanted to spend their entire two hours with me and I’m pleased they accepted. I was able to take them onto the House floor, have them sit in on several meetings and watch a few minutes of some committee meetings so they were able to learn more about the day-to-day happenings of a state lawmaker. I truly enjoyed it and I hope they did too.
As always, I am interested in your feedback. Please feel free to contact me by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or contact my office at 651-296-3135.
Have a good weekend,
Representative Tony Jurgens
523 State Office Building
100 Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd.
Saint Paul, Minnesota 55155