The beer and wine legislation introduced on January 12 in the House Commerce Committee has finally been published. The bill would allow Big Box and Convenience Stores to sell strong beer and wine under a newly created Wine and Beer Retailers License Read the bill here.
A Wine and Beer Retailer could sell any other goods and services on the licensed premises. A Liquor Retailer could sell other goods or services on the licensed premises, exceptthat the gross sales of other goods and services shall not exceed 20% of theretailer's total gross sales.
The bill includes provisions to transfer 3% of enforcement taxes to a local cereal malt beverage sales tax fund. Those funds would be distributed to cities and counties based on a population weighting formula to theoretically make up for sales tax revenues that cities and counties would lose when there are fewer sales of cereal malt beverage products.
There are no provisions for an extended transition period or purchasing existing retailer licenses. There are no limitations on the number or location of new licenses.
Long time members of KABR know – the key to winning this issue is one on one relationships with your legislators. It takes more than a 2 minute conversation to explain the complex concerns of retail liquor store owners. As they get to know you and learn about your business, they are better able to understand the harmful effects of Uncork legislation. As you develop an honest supportive relationship with your representative and senator, you are also more likely to receive information from them about the happenings at the Legislature. If you do not know them already, reach out now to introduce yourself and to begin a conversation about why you hope they will support Kansas small businesses and oppose Uncork. If they are local, request a meeting.
Reach out to the members of the House Commerce Committee and your legislators now (see information below if you need help). Face to face meetings are extremely valuable – either at the Statehouse in Topeka or while they are home on the weekends. Emails and phone calls are also effective. It is very important that our members get active now on this issue, or we will find ourselves behind the ball once a public hearing is finally scheduled.
Find your state senator and state representative at https://openstates.org/find_your_legislator/ by entering your address information. Contact information for all legislators is available at www.kslegislature.org.
Information for the House Commerce Committee is below: