Missouri Chamber testifies against legislation to block retail activity on certain holidays

The Missouri Chamber of Commerce and Industry opposes legislation that seeks to halt retail sales on Thanksgiving, Easter and Christmas. Tracy King, Missouri Chamber vice president of governmental affairs, testified in opposition to House Bill 1284, legislation sponsored by Rep. Keith English, which the Missouri Chamber says would hurt residents, employers and workers in our state.

“This is a return of the ‘blue law,’ outdated policy that almost all states have eliminated. Currently, Rhode Island, Maine, and Massachusetts are the only states that have these so-called ‘blue laws,’ and lawmakers in these states are looking to repeal them. Don’t take Missouri backwards,” King said.

Under HB 1284, any sale for retail is prohibited by this bill.

“The sick and injured won’t be allowed to purchase medicine at pharmacies. Travelers both in this state and out of state won’t be able to purchase gas as they travel through Missouri on the holiday,” King warned.

According to members of the Missouri Chamber, retailers do not have any problem finding workers who want to work the holidays, often earning more than average wages.

The legislation is also an infringement on free enterprise, eliminating an opportunity to add to our state’s economy.

“If consumers didn’t want to shop on these holidays, retailers would not be open,” King said. “If Missouri limits retail sales on these days, consumers that are close to state lines will take their shopping across the borders.”

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