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KS House Committee Advances Bill Expanding Liquor Sales

Stephen Koranda
Kansas Public Radio/File photo

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. 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.

Stephen Koranda is the managing editor of the Kansas News Service, based at KCUR. He has nearly 20 years of experience in public media as a reporter and editor.