Proposed language for an initiated ballot measure that would allow retail stores to be open on Sundays was submitted to the North Dakota Secretary of State for approval today. The measure would change the state’s Century Code to remove all restrictions on retail openings by repealing the section that requires closings. It will still be illegal to force a store in a mall to be open on Sunday morning on any lease signed before Jan. 1, 2019.
Once the language is approved, volunteer signature gatherers will have until July 9, 2018, to submit enough signatures for the measure to be on the November 2018 ballot.
“It is time to let North Dakotans choose for themselves when to rest, worship, work and shop,” said Brandon Medenwald, chair of the measure’s sponsoring committee. “North Dakota’s current prohibition on Sunday morning shopping is arcane, unfair and unenforceable. It is time to give North Dakotans the right to choose what is best for themselves, their families and their businesses. Government has no right to force their beliefs on the rest of us.”
As proposed today, the full text of the measure reads:
BE IT ENACTED BY THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NORTH DAKOTA:
SECTION 1. REPEAL. Sections 12.1-30-01, 12.1-30-02, and 12.1-30-03 of the North Dakota Century Code are repealed.
SECTION 2. Amendment. Section 12.1-30-04 of the North Dakota Century Code is amended and reenacted as follows:
12.1-30-04. Retail business leases or agreements – Penalty.
A retail business may not be required to be open on Sunday as a part of a lease agreement, franchise agreement, or any other contractual arrangement made and executed prior to January 1, 2019. A violation of this section is a class A misdemeanor.
Alcohol and automobile sales, which are in different areas of the Century Code, will be unaffected by this measure.