Kansas Association
of Beverage Retailers





2017 Legislative Session Begins

09 Jan 2017 1:37 PM | Anonymous

The Kansas Legislature convened for the 2017 Legislative Session today, January 9, in Topeka.

The Governor’s State of the State speech will be 5:00 p.m. Tuesday, January 10, and the House and Senate budget committees will receive the Governor’s Budget Proposal Wednesday morning.  We have been told that the Governor will be proposing revenues from the liquor industry.  We do not know if it will be in the form of increased gallonage and/or liquor enforcement taxes, or if it will include the Uncork proposal to raise state general funds by allowing grocery and big box stores to buy into the retail liquor system with large up-front licensing fees.  Shawn Sullivan, Budget Director, will present the report to the House Appropriations and Taxation Committees at 9:00 a.m. and Senate Ways and Means Committee at 10:30 a.m. Wednesday.  That report will be posted at the Governor's Budget website at 9:00 a.m. Wednesday - http://budget.ks.gov . 

We do expect to see hearings this session on Uncork proposals.  It is also possible that the convenience stores will be pursuing a separate bill for Strong Beer.  Beer and wine are likely to be the focus of the Big Box Stores' efforts this year.  They are touting the Oklahoma constitutional change adopted by a public vote in November.  

Click to see the 2017 Session Planner here. This calendar shows the days the Legislature will be in session and the deadlines for bill introductions and passage.  It is subject to change.  Legislative leaders expect to have a longer legislative session this year, and will face issues such as major tax changes, Medicaid expansion, and a new school finance formula.  The task will be challenging, with revenues $340 million short for the fiscal year ending in June.  Most of the newly elected legislators ran on the promise to reform the income tax reductions for business owners that were passed in 2012 and 2013 – but the Governor is opposed.  

KABR will be tracking public hearings of interest and will share committee schedules with members regularly.  If you are interested, you can check yourself each Friday by looking at the House and Senate calendars posted for the following week at www.kslegislature.org to see what public hearings and meetings are scheduled for the following week.  This is especially important if you are watching specific issues of interest.  A better way to be prepared to act is to contact the committee secretary (listed below each committee name in the calendar) and ask IF and WHEN a bill or issue is to be discussed.  Typically, if you wish to testify or submit written comments for a public hearing on a bill, you will need to sign up with the secretary and turn in your testimony or comments at least 24 hours in advance.  Each committee’s rules are different and secretaries may have different requirements.  Unfortunately, there will also be hearings that pop up in the middle of the week with very little advance notice.  Committee schedules are also posted on the walls outside the House and Senate chambers and updated when changes occur.

Kansas Association of Beverage Retailers       P.O. Box 3842, Topeka, KS  66604      Email KABR  

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