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Know before you vote: Liquor regulation question on the ballot

In the General Election Tuesday, November 5, voters will decide whether to remove a section of the City Charter that regulates intoxicating liquor. If approved, intoxicating liquor would be regulated by state law and the City Code. One potential result of this change would be that the City Council could create new licenses to allow new types of intoxicating liquor establishments, including brewer taprooms and cocktail lounges. 

First of all, what is a city charter?

There are two types of cities in Minnesota: charter and statutory. Bloomington is a charter city, which means that it has its own “constitution” that provides additional regulations. A charter affects everything the City government does. It provides the basis for most municipal regulatory functions and for the delivery of municipal services. 

What is the ballot question?

The question asks voters: “Shall the Bloomington City Charter be amended to delete Section 12.12, which would allow the City Council to adopt ordinances authorizing additional types of places to serve and sell alcohol in the City?”

Why is this question on the ballot?

State law requires some charter amendments related to the sale of intoxicating liquor be placed on the ballot. 

How many votes are required for passage or failure of this ballot question?

Passage requires a “yes” vote from at least 55% of people voting on the question. A non-vote on the question has no impact on the calculation of the vote. 

If the ballot question passes, how soon would the change take effect?

If approved, section 12.12 of the City charter would be removed 30 days after the election.

If the ballot question passes, can the City issue licenses to new types of places?

In order for the City to issue new types of liquor licenses, the City Code will need to be amended after public notice and a public hearing. One license that is allowed by state law but not currently in the City Code is a brewer taproom license. 

In plain language ...

If you want to expand the types of liquor licenses the City Council can create and approve, vote “yes” on the charter question. If you don’t, vote “no.” For more information, visit blm.mn/voting or call 952-563-8729 or 952-563-4989.