Kansas Senate panel to consider expanding liquor licenses

Liquor Store (KSN File Photo)

TOPEKA, Kansas (AP) – Kansas counties would be allowed to expand liquor licenses under a bill being discussed by a state Senate panel.

Lobbyists and representatives of supermarkets and liquor stores gave dueling testimony on Tuesday during a hearing in the Senate Federal and State Affairs Committee.

The bill would allow big box retailers to sell liquor, wine and full strength beer in counties that approve the measure through a local election.

Supporters say it would be more convenient for consumers, but opponents say it would hurt the state’s roughly 750 individually owned liquor stores.

Committee Chairman Republican Sen. Ralph Ostmeyer says the bill is unlikely to pass, though he acknowledged that intense lobbying efforts by supporters would likely push the measure through the Legislature eventually.

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