As liquor store owners, we know that our businesses require hard work. This is true for day to day sales in our stores and it is true for maintaining a market structure where Kansas owned small businesses can continue to succeed. Kansas liquor retailers have proven they have what it takes to stand up to Uncork Kansas in the Statehouse in Topeka. Uncork Kansas has more lobbyists and more money, but their legislation – House Bill 2200 – was not successful in 2015. Why? KABR is working with small and large retailers to promote truth and fairness for Kansas small businesses against intimidating odds. We work with our partners – Keep Kansans in Business, KS Wine and Spirits Wholesalers Association and the Kansas Association for Responsible Liquor Laws to keep legislators informed.
Please join us in Wichita for the 2015 KABR Annual Convention this month – October 16-17-18. Our special guest will be Jeanne McEvoy, Colorado Licensed Beverage Association. Learn about the big box liquor / strong beer fight in Colorado and proposals in Oklahoma that will influence the debate in Kansas.
Avoiding illegal sales is our duty in order to hold a state liquor license. Our communities rely on us to prevent underage sales – and every good business works to avoid fines and violations. Register yourself and your employees for the training seminar to be held Saturday, October 17 at 9:30 a.m. at our annual conference at the KABR website (http://kaobr.memberlodge.com/event-1864796). Participants earn a certificate of completion for passing the test.
Meet legislators at the Saturday Legislative Luncheon - a roundtable that includes an informal discussion of state policy issues relating to the Kansas owned retail liquor stores. This is a casual event, an opportunity to have lunch with legislators, industry partners and local store owners. These events have been very effective.
At the Sunday Annual Business Meeting, KABR will elect officers, consider a bylaws amendment to clarify LLC memberships, and vote on a dues increase proposal. All members are welcome.
Primary issues for KABR during the 2015 Legislative Session included opposing proposals by the grocery stores and convenience stores Uncork coalition to sell strong beer, wine and spirits. A Single Strength Beer amendment was defeated by the Senate on a vote of 11 to 26 on May 14th. In the House of Representatives, HB 2200 passed committee but was left “below the line”, never seeing floor action. It is still alive in 2016.
The 2015 Legislature did adopt significant law changes in Substitute for HB 2223 which included 17 policies amended to the liquor control act. Read details in the "News" at right.
KABR has been very successful in recent years, but we need your participation! We need your action to continue to win. We need your input in order to speak accurately on behalf of Kansas retailers and we need your membership dues to sustain these efforts.
If you are on our email list, you already know about the convention and our public policy activities. Don’t be left out! Join Now!
Stacey Harlow, President
Kansas Association of Beverage Retailers