May 12, 2016
ST. PAUL, MN – Today, a majority of the Minnesota House voted not to approve a provision which would have repealed Minnesota's prohibition on Sunday sales of alcohol. State Rep. Dave Pinto (DFL – St. Paul) released the following statement on the vote:
“I have been carefully considering this issue throughout my time in the Legislature. I had voted against a similar provision last year but continue to view this as a very close call, with strong arguments in favor of repeal. In the end, however, I decided to vote against this year's provision as well.
Particularly persuasive to me was the concern that alcohol, in terms of societal costs, doesn't come close to "pulling its own weight". The Minnesota Department of Health has found that the economic costs of alcohol are as many as 17 times the tax revenues collected on sale [click link to see report]. I have seen these societal costs particularly strongly in my work prosecuting domestic violence; alcohol is often a contributing factor in these situations. I agree with opponents of the ban that Sunday sales would likely lead to increased sales overall, but I disagree that this would be a fiscal benefit for our state. It is not fair for all Minnesota taxpayers to have to subsidize the cost of these increased sales. I am leery of expanding the status quo much further while this is true.
It's important to note that, with only a week and a half remaining in the 2016 legislative session, many of our state's biggest challenges - among them, crumbling roads & bridges and lack of transit funding, long-term underfunding of education, and the biggest racial disparities in the country - remain unaddressed. In these final few days, I hope that the Legislature can finally make progress on these priorities.”
Rep. Pinto encourages community members of St. Paul's Macalester-Groveland, Highland Park, and Fort Road/West 7th neighborhoods to contact him on any legislative issue. He can be reached by email at email@example.com or phone at 651-296-4199.