Bill to relax N.D.'s blue law fails in Senate

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BISMARCK, N.D. - A bill that would have allowed some businesses to open earlier on Sundays, relaxing the state's blue laws, failed on the floor on the Senate. ​

Opponents of the bill cited mostly religious reasons.

They said Sunday should be left for families and Church.

Some said businesses raised concerns that they'd be left behind if they chose to remained close.

Supporters pointed out this is a choice and wouldn't force businesses to open early.

They also noted not everyone follows the same religion.

"When an atheist goes to court, to take God out of the pledge, to take God out of the classroom, to take God out of the boyscouts, they are using the government as a tool to advance their faith," said Sen. Dick Dever, R-Bismarck.

"This is about freedom, freedom that allows all businesses, all businesses, to make the decision whether or not to offer their services on a Sunday morning, not just a select few," said Sen. Jessica Unruh, R-Beulah.

The bill failed by a thin margin, 22-25.