Greetings from the Kansas State Capitol, where the generally snail-like pace has suddenly gained some urgency. The Kansas Senate and House of Representatives are debating some bills today and perhaps the next couple of days, with a goal of taking their spring break early. First Adjournment is supposed to occur on April 3, but last Friday House leaders were suggesting the Legislature should negotiate a stripped-down budget over the weekend and leave town. The Senate did not agree, so legislators went home for the weekend and returned to action today.
KABR supports several bills and we are working to have these items amended into other legislation that is moving in order to have a better chance of passage. The following reports may seem confusing, but it is a matter of jumping onto any train that is moving.
The Senate passed three bills with amendments that now must go to the House of Representatives or be adopted in a conference committee:
SB 417 – Requested by VFWs, would allow a Class A club licensee to offer for sale, sell, and serve alcoholic liquor for consumption on the licensed club premises by persons who are not members, their families, or guests during an event. Today, a Class A club can only host events with alcohol for members. SB 417 passed 38-0 on Emergency Final Action.
Adopted an amendment offered by Senator Suellentrop to add HB 2672, a bill to allow Clubs and Drinking Establishments to sell CMB (cereal malt beverages) without obtaining a local CMB license. Bill was requested by the Kansas Beer Wholesalers Association. The same privilege is already extended to liquor stores under the 2017 Beer Law.
This included the KABR amendment to include the Liquor Store CMB Wholesale language. This amendment was negotiated with the KBWA and approved by the House Federal and State Affairs Committee just this morning.
WHAT IS THE LIQUOR STORE CMB WHOLESALE AMENDMENT? This is an amendment to add cereal malt beverage on-premise licensees to the list of licensees that can purchase product from a retail liquor store with a federal wholesale permit. SAME AS Clubs and Drinking Establishments do today.
- Currently, retail liquor stores may obtain a federal wholesale permit for purposes of selling and delivering product to on-premise liquor licensees.
- The current statute does not include permission for the retail liquor store with a federal wholesale permit to sell and deliver product to the CMB on-premise retailers.
- The product would be limited to cereal malt beverage and beer containing not more than 6% alcohol by volume – the products that can be sold by CMB on-premise retailers to the public.
Since the implementation of the Beer Law in April 2019, our members have reported requests from CMB on-premise establishments – these have been small taverns / restaurants – asking to purchase small amounts of beer for resale. The liquor store must turn away this purchase because it would be illegal to sell the product to a restaurant for re-sale when the Liquor Control Act does not specifically allow that sale by the liquor store. We do not anticipate that liquor stores will be pursuing a large number of these accounts, as most are served by beer distributors who also offer services for their taps and keg lines. However, when taverns need small amounts of product, they should be able to turn to their local liquor store with a federal wholesale permit to fill that need, just as other on-premise clubs and restaurants do today.
SB 432 – ABC Legislation to require quarterly online reporting by out of state wineries in order to be sure that the information provided by shippers (UPS/Fedex) can be crosschecked with the out of state winery information. This will help to collect the taxes due and to reveal illegal operations. SB 432 passed 39-0 on Emergency Final Action.
Senator Rob Olson offered an amendment to add contents of SB 456, that passed the Senate Federal and State Affairs Committee last Thursday. Part of SB 456 is time sensitive because retailers do not want to be closed on a summer Saturday for Independence Day. KABR is recommending this change.
What is SB 456? SB 456 extends earlier Sunday sales hours to liquor stores and CMB retailers (grocery or Sunday sales ordinances altogether. It also has a piece to allow a producer to hold a CMB permit.
- Optional earlier Sunday hours were requested by liquor stores and CMB retailers – the issue mostly comes up to be able to serve customers before noon football games and those who are heading to lunch gatherings, family picnics, etc. It is a particular issue for those stores within driving distance to the Missouri border. (Missouri passed earlier hours immediately when Kansas passed Sunday sales.)
- Continues to provide for local option ordinances or elections to enact Sunday sales.
- Continues to provide for a uniform Liquor Control Act by allowing the same process for all cities/counties.
- The ABC had suggested doing away with the local ordinances and making all days the same – 9 a.m. to 11 p.m. with the option for shorter hours, but the parties agreed not to go that far
Fixes a problem for liquor store owners who are supposed to close on Saturday, July 4 2020 while their competition - grocery stores and convenience stores - are selling beer. Expecting a store to be closed on July 4th this year will cost that owner significant business.
Why Does This Happen?
Current law requires cities to choose to pass an ordinance FOR Sunday sales and summer holiday sales for liquor store retailers and CMB retailers (grocery stores and convenience stores).
If they choose to NOT allow Sunday sales, they are supposed to pass an ordinance to prohibit CMB retailers from selling on those summer holidays. This was part of the original Sunday sales law but it does not seem to be happening. This is not fair.
Passing this amendment will assure that these summer holidays are equally available to liquor store retailers and CMB retailers.
No Change for Most Cities for Days of Sale: Most cities have passed the Sunday sales ordinance and allow summer holiday sales plus Sunday sales for both liquor store retailers and CMB retailers and are not affected by the holidays portion of the bill.
Yes to Local Option for Sunday Sales: Cities will continue to choose whether or not to allow Sunday sales by local option (with the new optional no earlier than 10:00 a.m. time). The summer holidays are removed from that process.
More Equality for Days of Sale: Grocery and convenience stores will continue to operate with longer daily hours and liquor stores will continue to be closed on Thanksgiving and Christmas. BOTH are required to be closed on Easter and any time one of these holidays (Independence Day) falls on a Sunday in an area where Sundays are prohibited.
CMB Permit Section – added by the committee to allow any licensed producer (of grapes, honey, fruit for wine making) to get a local CMB permit to sell cmb and beer less than 6% alcohol by volume at their premises/events. Legislature already allowed producers to sell their own product at their place of business in previous session.
SB 433 – ABC Bill amends the Kansas Liquor Control Act and Club and Drinking Establishment Act by providing that violation of any lawful order issued by the Director (Director) of Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC) would be a reason the Director could suspend, involuntarily cancel, or revoke any license issued under those Acts.
Expecting an amendment to add a provision allowing a caterer’s/on-premise license to be issued to a person whose spouse is a law enforcement officer under certain conditions.
SB 433 passed 30-9 during Emergency Final Action.