North Dakota's new "brunch bill"  (HB1434) would allow restaurants to begin selling alcohol at 11 a.m. on Sundays. Currently, Sunday alcohol sales are only to be performed after noon.

The bill is sponsored by state Rep. Marie Strinden (D-Grand Forks), who was inspired by the fact that, just across the state line in East Grand Forks, Minnesota, it is legal to sell alcohol as early as 10 a.m.

The bill seeks to resolve the inequality in that, especially since downtown Grand Forks is located only minutes from the Minnesota border and its sister city. If passed, the bill would allow more competitiveness between businesses in the area.

Says Strinden:

If you're on your way home from church and you want to have brunch with your family and you want to have a mimosa or a beer, it's easier to go to East Grand Forks ... instead of going to Grand Forks at noon.

In other words, with the current law in place, food establishments in Grand Forks are losing business to their counterparts across the state line.

If that doesn't sway you, consider this: if passed, the new regulations could increase North Dakota sales tax revenues by close to $150,000.

The bill does not seek to require all communities to relax their individual restrictions on alcohol sales.

Rudie Martinson, executive director of the North Dakota Hospitality Association, has spoken in favor of HB1434, and the House Industry, Business and Labor Committee gave the proposal a do-pass recommendation this week.

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