Kansas Association
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Retailers Meet to Discuss HB 2282 & 3.2 Beer; KABR Testifies on HB 2366

20 Mar 2017 1:55 PM | Anonymous

HB 2282 - Uncork & the 3.2 issue and

HB 2366 - Keg Registration

Retailers Meet to Discuss HB 2282 & 3.2 beer

Meetings are being held to discuss the Uncork bill and whether or not there might be a negotiated solution for the "3.2 issue".  

Where We Are Today:

HB 2282 was referred to House Appropriations Committee instead of receiving a committee vote at the end of February.  The House Speaker asked Chair Les Mason to convene the retailers with Uncork supporters to develop a bill that could go to the full House.

KABR members have seen this top-down pressure before.  In spite of the hours of discussion we have given the issue in the past, Uncork proponents complain that retailers never bring solutions and just say no.  

At this point, no one knows what will happen with the bill next.  It seems that the Commerce Committee members are relatively solid in their view of the bill.  We do not know if leadership intends to move the bill through alternate channels, but we are aware that this issue is likely to pop up as a floor amendment to other bills. 

Certainly, the overall landscape has changed.  With Oklahoma and Colorado adopting major liquor law changes since May of 2016, many legislators are telling us that the 3.2 issue will need to be solved.  We continue to dispute whether or not there is any crisis coming at all.  Legislators have received the message that 3.2 retailers are going to have problems putting 3.2 on their shelves - and will have fewer products to sell after Oklahoma and Colorado implement changes in their beer laws.

Meetings:

Last week, at the request of the committee chairman, Amy Campbell, KABR, and Whitney Damron, KARLL, met with representatives of the convenience stores and Uncork, as well as both the Wine and Spirits Wholesalers and the Beer Wholesalers, to go over a list of amendments or "starting points" suggested by the chairman.   Read the chairman's proposed amendments here.  The chairman's suggestions are only a starting point for discussion.  Key concerns were discussed, including the level of alcohol by volume (ABV) of beer products recommended for sale to replace the potential loss of 3.2 products, a delayed implementation date, and how trade practices and distribution laws would apply to retailers who currently sell CMB and do not operate under the same rules.  The group is scheduled to meet again.  

Over the years, KABR has held numerous discussions about how these bills work or do not work.  Moving forward, Kansas retailers are facing the risks associated with the actions of our surrounding states with Beer and Wine sales given to grocery and convenience stores in Oklahoma, and Beer, Wine and Liquor Sales expanded to grocery in Colorado.  

It is fortunate that most legislators appear to be indifferent to copying these states.  However, there is legislative pressure to address the concerns about 3.2.

KABR will continue to participate in these meetings.  Members are encouraged to join our bimonthly teleconferences or to communicate with our lobbyist or President as we move forward.  

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Amy Campbell, Lobbyist  785-969-1617 Email Lobbyist

Brian Davis, President 316-990-1425  email Brian

HB 2366 Beer and Keg Registration Act

KABR provided neutral testimony on HB 2366 before the House Federal and State Affairs Committee on Wednesday, March 15.  The purpose of the legislation is to add “hard cider” to beer and cereal malt beverage, the products subject to the Beer and Cereal Malt Beverage Keg Registration Act.  Read the testimony.

Although the objective is simple, KABR members are concerned about the potential for amendments.  The compromise that was crafted in 2002 between the retailers and the proponents of keg registration was a careful balance.  The compromise sought to balance the public safety objective of deterring adults from providing kegs to youth with the need to maintain reasonable privacy protections for individuals who purchase alcohol.  Retailers are accustomed to implementing the State’s public safety goals as an obligation of holding a liquor license, but keg registration act takes that one step further – requiring retailers to gather, hold and provide customer’s personal information to law enforcement without a warrant.  We believe that is a task that should be carefully regulated.

The language of the bill adds “hard cider” to the products in the keg registration statute, and changes the name of the Act to the Keg Registration Act.  In order to change the name, the bill includes Liquor Control Act licensing statutes, where they refer to the keg registration act. 

Committee Chair Judge Barker said that he was a part of a judicial group and substance use prevention organization that supported keg registration at the time of its passage.  Rep. Smith, a law enforcement officer, indicated that he, too, was a supporter.  Both said they believe that the statutes continue to have a deterrent effect.

KABR will watch this bill closely for potential amendments.

                                      



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

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