Convenience stores in Kansas would be allowed to sell full-strength beer under a bill passed by a House committee. The legislation would also let grocery stores sell beer and liquor, as they do in Missouri and some other states.
Republican Representative Scott Schwab says this will make shopping more convenient for consumers. And, because the law wouldn't take effect until 2018, Schwab says liquor stores would have time to adapt.
“So it’s not like we’re flipping a switch and saying 'by the way, you now compete with the grocery store.’ You actually have a transitionary period and if you want to get out of that industry you have that opportunity to get out of that industry,” says Schwab.
Opponents of the bill say it will hurt local liquor stores and cost jobs as liquor stores close. The legislation will now go to the full Kansas House for a vote.
A Kansas House committee has approved legislation that would let convenience stores sell full-strength beer. It would also allow grocery stores to sell beer, wine and liquor. KPR’s Stephen Koranda reports on the proposed changes, which would take effect in 2018.
Republican Representative Scott Schwab says this change will be convenient for Kansas consumers. He says in his family, his wife doesn’t want to go to a liquor store while out shopping.
“So we don’t carry much beer or alcohol in the house even for entertainment because my wife doesn’t want to get it and I’m stuck here, not in a position to bring it home. So now that she can get it in the grocery store it allows us access to that market,” says Schwab.
But opponents of the bill, like Democratic Representative Stan Frownfelter, say this will allow major grocery store and conveniences store chains to drive local liquor stores out of business.
“I don’t think this is a fair thing. I think this is a bad display of the big boy, the giant coming in and kicking the little guy,” says Frownfelter.
The bill will now go to the full Kansas house for consideration.