State uncorks bills on Sunday liquor sales

Published 10:20 am Thursday, March 5, 2015

ST. PAUL — Minnesota lawmakers have uncorked a debate over expanded Sunday liquor sales with discussion of limited expansions.

The House Commerce and Regulatory Reform Committee dove into the issue Wednesday but deferred action until later this session. They reviewed proposals to allow takeaway sales of beer growlers from tap rooms on Sundays and to let restaurants serve liquor starting at 8 a.m. that day.

The latter plan is dubbed the “bloody mary bill” because backers say it would allow sales two hours earlier during Sunday brunches. Current law requires establishments to wait until 10 a.m. to serve booze. The growler bill made headway last year but stalled in the Senate.

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Lawmakers could also vote this year on a full repeal of a Prohibition-era law barring liquor stores from opening on Sundays.