Senate reconsiders, passes ‘brunch bill’ allowing alcohol sales one hour earlier on Sundays
BISMARCK - One day after defeating the bill by a single vote, the North Dakota Senate on Friday reconsidered and passed legislation allowing restaurants to start selling alcohol at 11 a.m. instead of noon on Sundays.
BISMARCK – One day after defeating the bill by a single vote, the North Dakota Senate on Friday reconsidered and passed legislation allowing restaurants to start selling alcohol at 11 a.m. instead of noon on Sundays.
Senators voted 27-18 to pass House Bill 1434, after amending the bill to clarify that the earlier start time applies only to on-sale alcoholic beverages and not off-sale.
Sen. Carolyn Nelson, D-Fargo, asked that the bill be reconsidered, and the Senate agreed to do so on a 26-19 vote.
Nelson said she had voted against the bill Thursday because the word “dispense” in the bill could be interpreted to permit the earlier sale of both on-sale and off-sale. The amendment offered Friday by Sen. George Sinner, D-Fargo, cleared up the language to meet the original intent of the bill as introduced in the House by Rep. Marie Strinden, D-Grand Forks.
“I think the amendment clears it up,” Nelson said.
The House narrowly passed the bill last month on a 49-42 vote. The bill now goes back to the House with the Senate amendment.
Sponsors say the bill will make it more convenient for North Dakota residents who want to enjoy an alcoholic beverage with their Sunday dinner and will make North Dakota restaurants more competitive with those in neighboring states that allow earlier alcohol sales on Sundays.
Sunday alcohol sales start at 10 a.m. in Minnesota, 9 a.m. in Manitoba, 8 a.m. in Montana and 7 a.m. in South Dakota.
The state tax commissioner’s office estimates the bill would increase sales tax revenue by $143,000 during the 2015-17 biennium, according to the bill’s fiscal note.