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Minn. House OKs liquor bill

ST. PAUL — The Minnesota House passed a liquor measure Thursday that did not take on the issue of repealing the state’s ban on liquor stores operating on Sundays.

The bill would allow microbrewery taprooms to get Sunday on-sale liquor licenses if authorized by municipal authorities. It does not authorize the sale of bottled “growlers” for takeaway on Sundays.

The bill would allow Hennepin County authorities to approve a 4 a.m. closing time for bars and restaurants on the Monday and Tuesday night of Major League Baseball’s 2014 All-Star Game festivities. It also would remove the expiration date on the University of Minnesota’s ability to sell beer at TCF Bank Stadium.

The liquor provisions were amended onto a gambling bill. The bill was adopted 120-10.

The action comes after the defeat Tuesday in the Senate of an attempted repeal of the Sunday liquor store ban. Social conservatives have opposed the repeal on moral grounds, and a liquor store trade group has argued that being open Sundays would add to their costs without significantly increasing sales.