Minnesota Lawmakers to Vote on Plan for Beer and Wine to go

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Legislative leaders have agreed on a plan to let Minnesota restaurants offer beer and wine to go to help them stay afloat while they subsist on takeout orders during the shutdown for COVID-19.

The bill is scheduled for votes Thursday in the Senate and Friday in the House. It would allow licensed restaurants to sell up to 72 ounces of beer, hard seltzer or cider, and up to 750 milliliters of wine with a takeout food order.

That works out to six 12-ounce cans of beer or a standard bottle of wine. Communities will be allowed to prohibit such sales.

Gov. Tim Walz ordered bars and restaurants to shut down as of March 17 to enforce social distancing as the coronavirus pandemic started to take hold in Minnesota.

They’re allowed to offer takeout and delivery service, which has allowed many to keep operating on a shoestring.

They’ve been seeking permission since then to offer beer and wine during the shutdown to make up for lost liquor sales.

Walz has expressed support for allowing beer and wine to go but wanted the Legislature to authorize it because of questions about whether he had the authority to grant the request via executive order.

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