The Kansas Senate has rejected a plan to allow grocery and convenience stores to sell full-strength beer. Currently, those stores can only sell 3.2 percent alcohol beer, while stronger beer is sold at liquor stores.
Republican state Senator Julia Lynn, from Olathe, says the change would help stop people from going across the state line to Missouri to shop.
“This is about customer convenience. This is about being competitive as a state. And it’s time for us to get out of the dark ages, move into the 21st century and have a positive business environment and free markets,” says Lynn.
In exchange, liquor store would be able to sell non-alcoholic products. Opponents of the change argued it would shut down small businesses like liquor stores. Senator Anthony Hensley is a Democrat from Topeka.
“That’s what we should be concerned about, the mom and pop operations. And this amendment, effectively, will seriously diminish their business if not eliminate it,” says Hensley.
The proposal failed on an 11-26 vote. The laws surrounding alcohol sales have been a contentious issue in the Statehouse this year, with large retail chains making a push to expand the products they can sell.