Omnibus liquor bill offered to House with no ability to amend, passes after objections

A case of mistaken identity

Somehow a gambling bill became a liquor bill Thursday when Rep Joe Atkins (D) added a bevvy of liquor provisions from the existing liquor omnibus liquor bill, but none that would include Sunday growlers for small Minnesota brewers. Rep Atkins tried to justify the unusual procedures by shifting blame to the Senate.

“This is not my preferred approach to this bill,” Atkins said. “But these are all of the provisions proven to be noncontroversial. If we add Sunday growler sales, the Senate won’t take it up.”

In reality the Senate passed liquor a bill with Sunday growlers provisions, and with bipartisan support.

Can you really do that?

Remember the electronic gambling machines in bars that were supposed to pay for a new Minnesota Vikings Stadium? The bill in question was related to electronic gambling fraud, and electronic gaming machines. The shaky premise was that gaming machines are in bars, that means the bill being amended is about liquor. The move was unconventional enough to raise objections citing Rule of the House 3.21.


(a) A motion or proposition on a subject different from that under consideration must not be admitted under guise of its being an amendment. A motion, amendment, or other proposition offered to the House is out of order if it is not germane to the matter under consideration. Whether a proposition is germane to the matter under consideration is a question to be decided by the presiding officer, who may put the question to the House. (b) An amendment to an amendment on the House floor must relate only to the primary amendment, without introducing any new subject. Speaker Thissen (D) did not rule on the objection, but put the rules in question to the members for a vote. To his credit Speaker Thissen was among those that voted to find the point of order “well taken.”

“I am going to vote with Drazkowski, as shocking as that may be.” said Rep. Tina Leibling (D).

After some debate about the rule, it was “not well taken.” 65 -Yeas 65 -Nays

Those voting in the affirmative
Tony Albright (55B, R)
Paul Anderson (12B, R)
Sarah Anderson (44A, R)
Bob Barrett (32B, R)
Michael Beard (55A, R)
Mike Benson (26B, R)
Kurt Daudt (31A, R)
Jim Davnie (63A, DFL)
Matt Dean (38B, R)
Bob Dettmer (39A, R)
Steve Drazkowski (21B, R)
Sondra Erickson (15A, R)
Dan Fabian (01A, R)
Mary Franson (08B, R)
Pat Garofalo (58B, R)
Steve Green (02B, R)
Glenn Gruenhagen (18B, R)
Bob Gunther (23A, R)
Tom Hackbarth (31B, R)
Rod Hamilton (22B, R)
Jerry Hertaus (33A, R)
Jeff Howe (13A, R)
Jason Isaacson (42B, DFL)
Brian Johnson (32A, R)
Clark Johnson (19A, DFL)
Phyllis Kahn (60B, DFL)
Andrea Kieffer (53B, R)
Debra Kiel (01B, R)
Ron Kresha (09B, R)
Ernie Leidiger (47A, R)
Ann Lenczewski (50B, DFL)
Tina Liebling (26A, DFL)
Kathy Lohmer (39B, R)
Jenifer Loon (48B, R)
Tara Mack (57A, R)
Paul Marquart (04B, DFL)
Joe McDonald (29A, R)
Jason Metsa (06B, DFL)
Joe Mullery (59A, DFL)
Erin Murphy (64A, DFL)
Mary Murphy (03B, DFL)
Pam Myhra (56A, R)
Jim Newberger (15B, R)
Jerry Newton (37A, DFL)
Tim O’Driscoll (13B, R)
Marion O’Neill (29B, R)
Michael Paymar (64B, DFL)
Joyce Peppin (34A, R)
John Petersburg (24A, R)
Cindy Pugh (33B, R)
Duane Quam (25A, R)
Joe Radinovich (10B, DFL)
Paul Rosenthal (49B, DFL)
Linda Runbeck (38A, R)
Tim Sanders (37B, R)
Peggy Scott (35B, R)
Yvonne Selcer (48A, DFL)
Chris Swedzinski (16A, R)
Mark Uglem (36A, R)
Anna Wills (57B, R)
Kelby Woodard (20A, R)
Barb Yarusso (42A, DFL)
Nick Zerwas (30A, R)
Spk. Paul Thissen (61B, DFL)

Those voting in the negative
Jim Abeler (35A, R)
Susan Allen (62B, DFL)
Mark Anderson (09A, R)
Tom Anzelc (05B, DFL)
Joe Atkins (52B, DFL)
John Benson (44B, DFL)
Connie Bernardy (41A, DFL)
David Bly (20B, DFL)
Kathy Brynaert (19B, DFL)
Lyndon Carlson Sr. (45A, DFL)
Karen Clark (62A, DFL)
Tony Cornish (23B, R)
Greg Davids (28B, R)
Raymond Dehn (59B, DFL)
David Dill (03A, DFL)
Zachary Dorholt (14B, DFL)
Ron Erhardt (49A, DFL)
Roger Erickson (02A, DFL)
Andrew Falk (17A, DFL)
Tim Faust (11B, DFL)
Peter Fischer (43A, DFL)
Mike Freiberg (45B, DFL)
Patti Fritz (24B, DFL)
Laurie Halverson (51B, DFL)
Rick Hansen (52A, DFL)
Debra Hilstrom (40B, DFL)
Joe Hoppe (47B, R)
Frank Hornstein (61A, DFL)
Melissa Hortman (36B, DFL)
Thomas Huntley (07A, DFL)
Sheldon Johnson (67B, DFL)
Tim Kelly (21A, R)
Carolyn Laine (41B, DFL)
John Lesch (66B, DFL)
Ben Lien (04A, DFL)
Leon Lillie (43B, DFL)
Diane Loeffler (60A, DFL)
Tim Mahoney (67A, DFL)
Carlos Mariani (65B, DFL)
Sandra Masin (51A, DFL)
Jay McNamar (12A, DFL)
Denny McNamara (54B, R)
Carly Melin (06A, DFL)
Rena Moran (65A, DFL)
Will Morgan (56B, DFL)
Michael V. Nelson (40A, DFL)
Kim Norton (25B, DFL)
Gene Pelowski Jr. (28A, DFL)
John Persell (05A, DFL)
Jeanne Poppe (27B, DFL)
Shannon Savick (27A, DFL)
Mary Sawatzky (17B, DFL)
Dan Schoen (54A, DFL)
Joe Schomacker (22A, R)
Steve Simon (46B, DFL)
Erik Simonson (07B, DFL)
Linda Slocum (50A, DFL)
Mike Sundin (11A, DFL)
Tama Theis (14A, R)
Paul Torkelson (16B, R)
Dean Urdahl (18A, R)
Jean Wagenius (63B, DFL)
JoAnn Ward (53A, DFL)
John Ward (10A, DFL)
Ryan Winkler (46A, DFL)

Untouchable like Elliot Ness

Because the gambling bill (now the liquor bill) was already amended no further amendments could be offered. This means House members had to take it or leave it, no discussion, no ability to add Sunday growler amendments, etc.

“Do you think this is an appropriate way to do things for legislatures going forward?” asked Rep. Pat Garofalo (R).

The lack of discussion and amendments did not sit well. A motion was made to suspend Rule of the House 3.33 and allow members to discuss provisions and offer amendments.

“You’re shoving it down everybody’s throat,”(Rep. Ernie) Leidiger (R) said. “That’s the way it’s perceived and the people out there understand this. This is not the way to run this organization.” MPR – May 8, 2014

The motion did not pass. 63 Yeas 69 Nays

Those who voted in the affirmative
Jim Abeler (35A, R)
Tony Albright (55B, R)
Mark Anderson (09A, R)
Paul Anderson (12B, R)
Sarah Anderson (44A, R)
Bob Barrett (32B, R)
Michael Beard (55A, R)
Mike Benson (26B, R)
Kurt Daudt (31A, R)
Greg Davids (28B, R)
Matt Dean (38B, R)
Bob Dettmer (39A, R)
Steve Drazkowski (21B, R)
Sondra Erickson (15A, R)
Dan Fabian (01A, R)
Mary Franson (08B, R)
Pat Garofalo (58B, R)
Steve Green (02B, R)
Glenn Gruenhagen (18B, R)
Bob Gunther (23A, R)
Rod Hamilton (22B, R)
Jerry Hertaus (33A, R)
Joe Hoppe (47B, R)
Melissa Hortman (36B, DFL)
Jeff Howe (13A, R)
Brian Johnson (32A, R)
Clark Johnson (19A, DFL)
Tim Kelly (21A, R)
Andrea Kieffer (53B, R)
Debra Kiel (01B, R)
Ron Kresha (09B, R)
Ernie Leidiger (47A, R)
Ann Lenczewski (50B, DFL)
Tina Liebling (26A, DFL)
Kathy Lohmer (39B, R)
Jenifer Loon (48B, R)
Tara Mack (57A, R)
Joe McDonald (29A, R)
Denny McNamara (54B, R)
Pam Myhra (56A, R)
Jim Newberger (15B, R)
Bud Nornes (08A, R)
Tim O’Driscoll (13B, R)
Marion O’Neill (29B, R)
Michael Paymar (64B, DFL)
Joyce Peppin (34A, R)
John Petersburg (24A, R)
Cindy Pugh (33B, R)
Duane Quam (25A, R)
Paul Rosenthal (49B, DFL)
Linda Runbeck (38A, R)
Tim Sanders (37B, R)
Joe Schomacker (22A, R)
Peggy Scott (35B, R)
Chris Swedzinski (16A, R)
Tama Theis (14A, R)
Paul Torkelson (16B, R)
Mark Uglem (36A, R)
Dean Urdahl (18A, R)
Anna Wills (57B, R)
Kelby Woodard (20A, R)
Nick Zerwas (30A, R)

Those who voted in the negative
Susan Allen (62B, DFL) 
Tom Anzelc (05B, DFL)
Joe Atkins (52B, DFL)
John Benson (44B, DFL)
Connie Bernardy (41A, DFL)
David Bly (20B, DFL)
Kathy Brynaert (19B, DFL)
Lyndon Carlson Sr. (45A, DFL)
Karen Clark (62A, DFL)
Tony Cornish (23B, R)
Jim Davnie (63A, DFL)
Raymond Dehn (59B, DFL)
David Dill (03A, DFL)
Zachary Dorholt (14B, DFL)
Ron Erhardt (49A, DFL)
Roger Erickson (02A, DFL)
Andrew Falk (17A, DFL)
Tim Faust (11B, DFL)
Peter Fischer (43A, DFL)
Mike Freiberg (45B, DFL)
Patti Fritz (24B, DFL)
Tom Hackbarth (31B, R)
Laurie Halverson (51B, DFL)
Rick Hansen (52A, DFL)
Alice Hausman (66A, DFL)
Debra Hilstrom (40B, DFL)
Frank Hornstein (61A, DFL)
Thomas Huntley (07A, DFL)
Jason Isaacson (42B, DFL)
Sheldon Johnson (67B, DFL)
Phyllis Kahn (60B, DFL)
Carolyn Laine (41B, DFL)
John Lesch (66B, DFL)
Ben Lien (04A, DFL)
Leon Lillie (43B, DFL)
Diane Loeffler (60A, DFL)
Tim Mahoney (67A, DFL)
Carlos Mariani (65B, DFL)
Paul Marquart (04B, DFL)
Sandra Masin (51A, DFL)
Jay McNamar (12A, DFL)
Carly Melin (06A, DFL)
Jason Metsa (06B, DFL)
Rena Moran (65A, DFL)
Will Morgan (56B, DFL)
Joe Mullery (59A, DFL)
Erin Murphy (64A, DFL)
Mary Murphy (03B, DFL)
Michael V. Nelson (40A, DFL)
Jerry Newton (37A, DFL)
Kim Norton (25B, DFL)
Gene Pelowski Jr. (28A, DFL)
John Persell (05A, DFL)
Jeanne Poppe (27B, DFL)
Joe Radinovich (10B, DFL)
Shannon Savick (27A, DFL)
Mary Sawatzky (17B, DFL)
Dan Schoen (54A, DFL)
Yvonne Selcer (48A, DFL)
Steve Simon (46B, DFL)
Erik Simonson (07B, DFL)
Linda Slocum (50A, DFL)
Mike Sundin (11A, DFL)
Jean Wagenius (63B, DFL)
JoAnn Ward (53A, DFL)
John Ward (10A, DFL)
Ryan Winkler (46A, DFL)
Barb Yarusso (42A, DFL)
Spk. Paul Thissen (61B, DFL)

Take it

With virtually nothing else to do but vote,  the gambling bill (now liquor omnibus bill) was passed. 120 -Yeas 10 -Nays Will be updated with official votes

Far from over

Did you follow all that? If you think special procedures and back door maneuvering is a long way to go to keep Minnesotans from being able to buy 64oz of beer from a brewer on a Sunday, you’d be right. The way things went down are undoubtedly not going to sit well. This sure isn’t the best way to wrap up Minnesota Craft Beer Week, not if you want to be reelected in the fall.



About the author

Andrew is just a guy that likes beer. You can usually find him on the twitters or spending time with his family.