Judge rejects retailers' plea to waive alcohol buying permit

Posted at 1:00 PM on July 18, 2011 by Paul Tosto (2 Comments)

Bars and other businesses unable to buy beer and other alcoholic beverages because of the state government shutdown better hope lawmakers finish a budget deal this week because they won't be getting any immediate help from the courts.


Among the state shutdown rulings posted this morning, Ramsey County Judge Kathleen Gearin turned aside a plea from the Minnesota Licensed Beverage Association to waive the requirement for a "buyer's card" if a retailer is licensed and in good standing or else allow funding of a state clerical worker to process permit renewals.

The Department of Public Safety estimates around 300 establishments out of 10,000 in the state did not renew their state-issued cards by the end of June.

By the end of July, approximately 425 establishments will lack the required permit, MPR News reported earlier.

Those businesses can continue to sell alcohol, but cannot replenish their inventory.

The group had asked the "special master" refereeing shutdown issues to intervene.

Gearin, though said the question involves "complex interpretations of Minnesota's constitution" beyond the special master process.

If the state government shutdown doesn't end this week, Gearin said a court date should be scheduled to hear the case.

State lawmakers have agreed on the framework of a budget deal that would render the issue moot but they're still working on it.

Gearin urged the beverage association to make sure lawmakers understand the "compelling arguments" about the shutdown's effects on the state's bars.

UPDATE: MPR's Baxter reports:

Frank Ball of the Beverage Association says some venues are really struggling.

"I would venture to say we've got a dozen that are just literally closing up the doors because they don't have any product to sell. They're smaller ones in outstate Minnesota," he said.

Comments (2)

call your legislator up and tell them how great theyre doing at creating jobs. remind them of how government impacts their lives.

Posted by greg | July 18, 2011 3:27 PM

We supported Gov. Dayton. We rallied. We made phone calls. He caved. We are not happy with his decision. What happen to taxing the rich? Why cant they pay the same tax I pay? Answer this question.....really....answer it. My husband and I gross approx. 27,000 a year. I am a state worker. I wont tell you were I work, but I will tell you it is a job that is very very diffucult. Most people could not do my job. Most people do it because they have to. I had two days vacation on the books during this shutdown. We were all told we could not cancel our vacations but we would get paid for them. Now our employer is telling us "Oopps! Sorry you will not get paid for those days. You know what I bring home every two weeks....$939.00. My husbands job just go cut to 32 hours. So his employer could keep thier rich life style of partying, Fl., new trucks, building homes for family, Hawaii and Alaska vacations and much much more. I DO NOT make $30,000 a year as a state worker..who is making this lie up? In fact we could not buy Xmas presents, pay our heat bill and make our house payment last winter. Married couples who make over $300,000 a year pay 9% taxes, single making $150,00 pay roughly 9%. I pay 12% taxes. WHAT? I didnt do very well in math class but this isnt right. We only want them to pay the same as we...the middle class, not more just the same. By the way during all of this mess I discovered something. My family is no longer considered middle class we are now considered poor. NIce. I bieleve that is the goal here. To have two classes. Rich and Poor. Taking from our children our schools...shame on you. Governor Dayton you let us down.

Posted by nancy | July 18, 2011 6:50 PM

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