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Senate Passes Limited Beer Compromise - Sub for SB 13

07 Apr 2017 11:04 AM | Anonymous

Senate Passes Limited Beer Compromise

The Senate concurred on House Substitute for SB 13 this morning with a vote of 27-11. The bill will go to the Governor.

There were supportive comments from senators who said they were glad to see a compromise to the beer issue that has been around the Legislature for 30 years.  According to Senate President Susan Wagle, the corporate grocery and convenience stores have been putting a lot of pressure on the Senate to deal with liquor expansion, particularly in the past six years or so, but she has always insisted the Senate wouldn’t deal with it until the corporate big guys sat down with the liquor stores to form some kind of agreement.

Senator Anthony Hensley, leader of the minority party, stated his strong opposition to the process. Hensley protested that the bill did not have any hearings in the Senate and now – as a motion to concur – did not allow any opportunities for amendments.  He stated that the impact of beer sales in the grocery and convenience stores will be a hardship for liquor stores and he is concerned about the survival of some of the small businesses in his district.

Several senators emphasized that the ten year moratorium on further liquor expansion legislation was very important to them, including Senator Oletha Faust-Goudeau, who asked the carrier of the bill, Senator Julia Lynn, to verify the ten years.

Senator Lynn Rogers entered the following explanation of vote into the record:

“I am voting yes on SB 13 today because small businesses in my District have asked me to.  These small businesses provide the livelihood to over 150 individuals or families who live in my district. Many of those owners were part of the discussion and deliberation process for SB 13 and reluctantly become proponents of compromise.  

The 3 big box stores and multiple convenience stores in my district have told me they would simply add shelf space for product and not hire additional staff if major changes were made to our liquor laws. While access to liquor & wine in these kind of stores would be convenient, it would have meant fewer jobs and businesses for District 25.

I'm glad these small businesses were part of the process on this bill because this body was not. With no hearing in our Chamber & only finding out about the compromise in the last couple days. I would have liked more time to hear from constituents.

I hope the 10 year compromise evidenced by this legislation will be honored. I for one, will remember it clearly.”    

Today is Drop Dead Day at the Kansas Legislature.  It is the First Adjournment deadline for wrapping up work on most bills before the Legislature takes a few weeks off.  Legislators will return to begin the Veto Session on May 1.

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