BISMARCK – North Dakota citizens might be allowed to buy and sell alcohol on Thanksgiving Day after the narrow House vote Friday.
Though on-premise sales are currently allowed, House Bill 1335 would change the North Dakota Century Code to allow off-sale transactions of alcohol. The bill carrier, Representative Scott Wagner, R-Dis. 45, Fargo, explained general consensus in committee.
“These are private businesses, and individual citizens should have the right to exercise their freedom of choice on the purchase of a legal product,” said Wagner. “Others felt there was no need to change the law, just purchase the off-sale alcoholic beverages the day before.”
The House Industry, Business and Labor committee ended up recommending a Do Pass by a vote of seven to three, with four absent. Representative Austen Schauer, R-Dis. 13, West Fargo, said he was in the minority vote.
“Maybe it’s just my Baptist upbringing, but I just have a hard time opening up alcohol sales for Thanksgiving,” said Schauer. “I just wonder what message this sends. We are leaders. We are role models, and I just have a hard time with this.”
The bill passed 48 to 42, and will be sent to the Senate chambers for consideration after February 24.