The Free Press, Mankato, MN


March 8, 2014

Plenty of options for Sunday liquor

Thumbs up to lawmakers taking a broad look at options regarding the current ban on Sunday liquor sales.

Repealing the ban on Sunday liquor sales is a perennial issue. Stores along the borders say they lose Sunday business to stores just across the border in other states. And there seems to be greater public support for allowing liquor sales on Sunday. But many liquor store owners are happy having Sundays off and oppose lifting the ban.

A bipartisan pair of lawmakers are offering a range of bills this session, from full repeal to more measured steps. Their idea is that if a full repeal isn’t palatable to lawmakers, they could perhaps allow cities and counties to make the decision on Sunday sales. Another option, which would likely have strong public support, would be to allow Sunday sales of beer growlers at local tap rooms but stop short of letting stores open.

Offering a buffet of possible legislation is a good approach.

Ensuring quality control

Thumbs up to Sen. Julie Rosen of Vernon Center for sponsoring a bill that adds legitimacy to the music therapy profession.

The Republican from Vernon Center is proposing legislation that would create a music therapy license. The bill would establish standards, such as needing a bachelor’s degree or equivalent in an approved program and the completion of 1,200 hours of clinical training among other requirements.

Setting up professional standards for the musical therapy field would ensure that quality care and guidance are available to clients who seek help. The power of music isn’t a new concept, but knowing how to use it affectively to help those suffering from disease or recovering from ailments belongs in the field of trained professionalists. Requiring a license for music therapists is the way to maintain quality control, just like in any medical profession. Licensure also enables therapists to be reimbursed by insurance providers.

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