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Published February 06, 2011, 09:24 PM

ND Liquor Store Employees Think Legislative Bill Could Help MN

Employees of Grand Forks liquor stores say they welcome a proposed bill to change business hours of similar stores in Minnesota.

Employees of Grand Forks liquor stores say they welcome a proposed bill to change business hours of similar stores in Minnesota. The bill would allow Minnesota, one of only 14 states to close liquor stores on Sundays, to stay open like in North Dakota.

Tom Heffernan of Rite Spot Liquor Store in Grand Forks said the store tends to be pretty busy on Sundays.

"We get people from Crookston, Warren and Oslo and people who come from near the boarder," said Heffernan.

Heffernan is not worried the new bill, introduced by Sen. Roger Reinert, DFL-Duluth, on the Minnesota legislature will decrease Rite Spot's business.

"I don't know if it would affect us that much. We have a lot of regular clientele here," he said.

Clients from Minnesota towns like East Grand Forks said if the bill were to pass, they would not pass on the money they could save.

"A lot of wasted gas! If it's open in East Grand Forks it would stop the driving from East Grand Forks to Grand Forks," said Arther Bair from East Grand Forks. Bair said he is sick of having to jump the state boarder to buy alcohol on Sundays.

Some people even think that being able to buy some of this on a Sunday in Minnesota, could help the state in some big ways.

"Minnesota could use the help and they could generate revenue from the sales tax," said Jeff Aamodt from Highlander Bottle Shop.

The tax could help them balance the $6.4 billion deficit.

Analysts for the Distilled Spirits Council say keeping Sunday liquor sales in state could pump nearly $10.6 million into the state annually.

From a sales point of view, Heffernan said it is just good business to be open as often as you can.

"People like to entertain, like to have a good time. We like to be there to service our customers," he said.

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