House Committee Advances Growler Bill
Monday morning, the House Federal and State Affairs Committee voted to pass SB 221 – the Growler and Crowler Bill – to expand sales of these products to restaurants and drinking establishments and liquor stores. SB 221 was passed with amendments to allow liquor stores with a federal wholesale permit to sell to CMB on-premise licensees and allow clubs and drinking establishments to sell CMB without requiring a CMB license (HB 2672). An amendment to allow Walmart, convenience stores and all CMB retailers to sell growlers and crowlers was rejected by the committee.
The hearing on SB 221 included proponent testimony from Scott Schneider of the Kansas Restaurant and Hospitality Association, Amy Campbell for the Kansas Association of Beverage Retailers, and Philip Bradley for the Craft Brewers and KS Licensed Beverage Association.
See KABR Testimony here.
Representatives of Walmart, Casey’s General Stores and the Petroleum Marketers and Convenience Stores Association then testified as neutral parties, but asked to be added to the legislation in order to allow big box, grocery and convenience stores to be able to sell growlers. They said they would change from neutral to supporting if added to the bill.
Debbi Beavers, Director of Alcoholic Beverage Control, testified neutral on the bill and called attention to Senate amendments that were made to address what tax would be paid by the restaurants/drinking establishments (10% drink tax) and to limit sales to 11 p.m. under the bill.
With the Legislature planning to shut down this week for an early spring break, there are not many bills that have been passed by both the House and Senate during the 2020 session. SB 221 has passed the Senate and could be on its way to passing the House. That is important because legislation must have passed both chambers to go to conference committee. Legislation that has passed just one chamber can be added into a conference committee, but you need a main bill. This means there is a shortage of “vehicle” legislation that can be used to craft the “mega-liquor bill” we have become accustomed to seeing at the end of each session.