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Legislative News and Views - Rep. Melissa Hortman (DFL)

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Minnesota House passes bill to allow takeout beer and wine

Friday, April 17, 2020

SAINT PAUL, Minn. — Today, the Minnesota House of Representatives passed legislation to allow takeout sales of beer and wine from bars and restaurants during the COVID-19 pandemic. The bill passed on a vote of 129-1.

“Our restaurants and their employees are facing extreme hardships during this pandemic,” said House Speaker Melissa Hortman. “We hope today’s legislation will help. We know it is a small step in these very difficult times, but I’m pleased legislators from both sides of the aisle were able to work together with the Governor to get this done.”

The legislation allows bars and restaurants with liquor licenses to sell up to 72 ounces – the equivalent of one six-pack – of beer, cider or hard seltzer and up to 750 milliliters of wine – the equivalent of one bottle – with food orders. The alcoholic beverages must be sold in their original, unopened containers.

“DFLers will continue efforts to get our economy up and running without putting Minnesotans’ lives at risk, and today’s legislation is an example of that,” said House Majority Leader Ryan Winkler. “House DFLers are continuing to work on solutions to ensure Minnesotans can make ends meet during the pandemic and beyond.” 

“Minnesotans are proud of the innovation of our small businesses and doing everything they can to support them,” said Rep. Laurie Halverson (DFL - Eagan), the author of the bill. “We are committed to supporting business owners, workers, and customers during the COVID-19 pandemic. This legislation will help restaurants and bars serve Minnesotans safely and recover from losses brought on by these challenging times.” 

The legislation can be found here, and more details can be found in the attached research memo. Video of today’s floor debate will be available here. The legislation passed in the Minnesota Senate yesterday, and it is expected to be signed into law by Governor Walz.