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2021 Legislative Update for Retailers

Saturday, January 16, 2021 10:32 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

The Kansas Legislature left a number of liquor issues stranded last spring when they shut down due to COVID-19.  They passed HB 2054 adopting a budget and placing restrictions on the Governor’s emergency powers.  That bill was vetoed by the Governor.  Through subsequent negotiations, the Legislature returned in June for a special session and passed HB 2016 – a bill providing for special allowances for restaurants and drinking establishments to sell alcohol for takeout, along with the key rules for emergency declarations and allowing local jurisdictions to override the Governor’s public safety orders.  That legislation expires January 26. 

SB 14 was rushed through Senate Judiciary and the full Senate last week in order to extend the emergency law through March 31 2021.  We expect the House to work to take quick action as well.

Both chambers are expected to work on permanent changes to the Kansas Emergency Management Act to extend beyond the legislative session. 

Statehouse access is limited this year due to the pandemic, and now, this week, due to the potential safety threats associated with protests against the Presidential Inauguration in Washington, D.C.  Currently, members of the public are not allowed into the Capitol unless they have official business associated with officials inside the building.

Committees are streamed through an audio feed and on YouTube – which does provide additional access to legislative activities.  However, our ability to interact with legislators and officials in the halls of the Capitol and at social events is severely curtailed.

Bills Passed by the House in 2020

  • -          Allow a retail liquor store license to be issued to the spouse of a law enforcement officer.
  • -          Allow a supplier (in this case, MGP of Atchison) to hold a drinking establishment license. 

Bills Passed by the Senate in 2020

  • -          Allow liquor stores to sell their products on summer holidays whether or not the jurisdiction has passed a Sunday sales ordinance.
  • -          Growlers sold by drinking establishments and liquor stores.
  • -          Expand Sunday sales hours to 10:00 a.m.
  • -          Liquor stores allowed to sell and deliver cereal malt beverage products wholesale.
  • -          Allow drinking establishments and caterers to sell cereal malt beverages without an additional license.
  • -          Require quarterly reporting to the state by out of state wine shippers.
  • -          Allow producers to receive a CMB retail license although in a non-zoned rural location.
  • -          Allow a retail liquor store license to be issued to the spouse of a law enforcement officer.

New Legislation expected:

Residency Requirements – The Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt issued an opinion in December stating that the Kansas residency requirements for retailer and drinking establishment licenses are unenforceable as a result of the United States Supreme Court Tennessee Wine decision.  Therefore, we are working with the Division of ABC to recommend reasonable revisions to the Kansas statutes.

Liquor Delivery for Restaurants – The Kansas Restaurant and Hospitality Association is seeking to pass legislation to allow them to deliver alcohol directly to customers.  The legislation would allow direct delivery through their own employees or through third party online platforms such as Doordash or UberEats.  

Liquor Takeout / Drive Through for Restaurants – The Kansas Restaurant and Hospitality Association is seeking to make permanent the special provisions allowing for liquor takeout and drive through that are temporarily in effect through the pandemic emergency statute.

Fulfillment Houses – Legislation has been requested by the Kansas Wine and Spirits Wholesalers Association to require fulfillment houses (entities that fill orders for online wine orders) to be licensed, in the same way that out of state wine shippers are required to be licensed and pay taxes to Kansas.

List of Legislation – select underlined items for link to more information

SB 14 - The bill would amend statutory provisions regarding the following to extend their expiration from January 26, 2021, until March 31, 2021: ● Removal of alcohol from premises of a licensed club or drinking establishment (Section 1); ● In the section of the Kansas Emergency Management Act (KEMA) governing declaration of a state of disaster emergency, provisions regarding extension of the COVID-19 state of disaster emergency when the Legislature is not in session by application of the Governor to the State Finance Council (Section 2). ● In the section of KEMA governing powers of the Governor during a state of disaster emergency (Section 4), extending provisions regarding the powers of the Governor and boards of county commissioners enacted in 2020 Special Session HB 2016. [Note: This section appears to make substantive amendments to the statute. However, these apparent substantive amendments reflect current statutory language and appear as amendments only to continue the current language beyond the original January 26, 2021, expiration date.] Effective March 31, 2021, the bill (in Section 5) would return this section to the version effective before enactment of 2020 Special Session HB 2016, removing the amendments made by 2020 Special Session HB 2016 and this bill; ● Telemedicine (Section 7); 2- 14 ● Temporary emergency licensure by the State Board of Healing Arts (Section 8); ● Temporary licensure measures for additional health care providers (Section 9); and ● Business immunity from liability for a COVID-19 claim (Section 10).

HB 2057 – Reintroduced from 2020 – Legislation to allow a supplier (in this case, MGP of Atchison) to hold a drinking establishment license. 

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

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