Kansas C-Stores Inch Closer To Winning The Right To Sell Alcohol

“The passage of SB 54 would set the stage for Kansas to benefit from a free market economy,” says one retailer.

Members of the Senate Federal and State Affairs Committee in Kansas voted 8 to 1 in support of Senate Bill No. 54, which would update laws regarding the sale of beer, wine and spirits.

Representatives of the Coalition for Jobs and Consumer Choice (CJCC), made up of large and small Kansas retailers, drafted the bill, and continues to stress the economic benefits of updating the laws regarding the sale of beer, wine and spirits not only for grocery and convenience stores in urban areas but also for the struggling rural stores who desperately need a lifeline during these tough economic times.

“Today’s vote is extremely encouraging for coalition members, retailers, and workers all across the state who have been hit by this economic downturn,” said Gratz Peters, co-owner of Pete’s Corp. and board member of the Petroleum Marketers and Convenience Store Association of Kansas.  “In the face of a daunting budget deficit and a growing number of mom-and-pop stores whose survival is in jeopardy, it is critical that this bill continues to gain support.”

Under current laws, licensed liquor stores are the only retailers that can sell full strength beer, wine and spirits.  The passage of SB 54 would allow other retailers like grocery stores and convenience stores to sell these products, and would enable liquor stores to sell food items.  SB 54 would create more convenience for customers and encourage free market competition, which would result in lower prices and increased economic activity.

“For years, Kansas laws have protected liquor stores from competition,” said Gary Haag, owner of Haag Oil Co. in Topeka.  “The passage of SB 54 would set the stage for Kansas to benefit from a free market economy, rather than unfair laws giving a leg up to one small but vocal minority.  I hope that legislators continue to support this bill to make all retailers more competitive.”

The bill now moves for consideration on the Senate floor.

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