Sen. Jerry Newton Update: March 3, 2017

Sunday Sales

Minnesota is one of only 12 states that prohibits Sunday liquor sales. The states that border Minnesota—Wisconsin, Iowa, North Dakota, and South Dakota—all allow retail sales of alcohol on Sundays.  Over 65 percent of residents of Senate District 37 support Sunday sales.

Over the course of the last several legislative sessions, legislators have attempted to remove the ban on Sunday sales through a variety of measures. This year is the first year the Legislature has seen this issue as a stand-alone bill.

On Monday I cast my vote to legalize Sunday liquor sales. I am looking forward to increased sales at Minnesota liquor stores, and increased tax revenue that we can put toward education or road and bridge repair. And while I am happy to see Minnesotans granted this increased consumer choice, I’m also looking forward to focusing on other, even more important issues here at the legislature.

Budget Forecast

The projected budget surplus leaves $1.65 billion available for tax cuts and spending this biennium. Now that we have this positive forecast, the process of passing a budget will begin in earnest.  I am committed to passing legislation that will benefit working families and improve our quality of life—a comprehensive transportation package, thoughtful education investments, a sensible tax bill, and a robust Jobs Bill that will support all regions of Minnesota. 

Real ID

This week the Legislature continued its work to pass a bill to bring our state’s driver’s licenses in compliance with the required federal REAL ID standards. Minnesota is one of only three states that has not changed its licenses to comply with the federal requirements. 

Unless the 2017 Legislature acts soon to pass REAL ID, Minnesotans will not be able to board a commercial airplane or visit federal buildings or military bases beginning January 22, 2018, without presenting additional, federally authorized proof of identity, such as a U.S. passport. 

The Senate Real ID bill proposes two types of identification.  One is the Real ID itself and it permits the holder to fly on domestic flights after the effective date of January 1, 2018, as established by Congress. The Real ID also permits holders to enter military bases and federal installations. The second form of identification in the Real ID bill is the Enhanced ID.  It does not contain all the information embedded on the Real ID, but it still can be used as a driver’s license or Minnesota ID card.  The choice is up to the individual as to which form of ID they want to use.  Those who fear federal encroachment or do not want the federal government to have data they consider private should use the Enhanced ID.  Others who are not worried about the federal government data collection may well opt for the Real ID.

If you have any questions or wish to unsubscribe from this Newsletter please feel free to contact my office at 651-296-2556 or by email at 

Thank you and have a great weekend. 

Jerry Newton

State Senator, District 37