MNGOP Rep. Jenifer Loon says her Sunday sales bill is all about local control
|Rep. Jenifer Loon|
Sunday sales is more popular than any Minnesota elected official, but for whatever reason, the effort to legalize liquor stores on the Lord's day has failed year after year at the Legislature. But last month, Governor Dayton sparked renewed hopes by saying he'd likely sign a Sunday sales bill if it reaches his desk this year.
In an interview with City Pages, Loon acknowledged she's not sure her bill will make it that far.
"I think it's a little early to tell," she said, referring to the bill's political prospects. "But there's a grassroots movement to change the law, and we recently heard an encouraging statement from the governor that he might look favorably on it and sign it."
Loon emphasized that her bill is all about local control.
"What's important to emphasize is that it removes the statewide prohibition," Loon said. "Municipalities can still control liquor sales in their area, including a city-wide ban. It allows the decision to be made by officials at the local level."
Asked why that's important, Loon cited the example of towns in different proximity to bordering states.
"You may have a resort town that's near a border, and they're losing business across state lines during their busy seasons and losing money," she said. "You might have others that don't want it, but it's not for the state to decide."
Loon said she's supported Sunday sales since she was first elected to the Legislature in 2008, but decided to emerge as the bill author this time around because she believes the bill has a better chance to pass than ever.
"It's time for more members to step up and say, 'It's time to take a serious look at this issue, take a look at this law and update it,'" she said.
As for a companion bill in the Senate, Loon said she's "in conversation with folks but nobody has signed on the dotted line yet."
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