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  • 04 May 2017 3:51 PM | Anonymous

    Senate Federal and State Affairs Committee will hear HB 2277 establishing common consumption areas tomorrow morning at 9 a.m.

    Taxes Dominate 1st Week of Veto Session

    This afternoon, the House Tax Committee hosted an overview of the budget bills as they are currently proposed by the House Appropriations Committee in order to compare how the multiple tax proposals that have been considered measure up against the spending priorities set up to this point.  Those numbers did not include a House Education funding proposal to address the recent Supreme Court decision citing inadequate state funding for K-12 education, but the committee estimated it could cost an additional $170 million in FY 18 and $350 m in FY 19.  It also did not include a proposal to reduce the planned fund transfers from the Department of Transportation – the Governor’s Budget Amendments recommend transferring all of the available funds from KDOT to balance the budget for the next two years.  Once those numbers were rolled in with the work of the House Appropriations Committee, the target seemed to be around $600 million or more.  There was further discussion of income tax rates, motor fuels tax, tobacco taxes, removing sales tax exemptions from various services, and other strategies.

    This is the first time we have seen a tax committee meeting in which those targets are set out before the committee.  It was designed to show committee members what they can – and can’t – accomplish with their current income tax bill.  So far, the House Tax Committee has preferred proposals that focus on multiple income tax tiers and rolling back the LLC exemption, like the bill passed in February that was vetoed by Governor Brownback – but do not appear to raise enough revenue to cover everything discussed today.

    Rep. Ken Corbet argued that increasing motor fuels tax and tobacco taxes would simply disadvantage current business owners – especially those who compete along the Missouri border – “it is a double smack against all of those who try to have a business on the border.  If we keep this up, it looks like Kansas making Missouri great again and I think we need to think about that.”

    Rep. Tom Burroughs agreed, pointing out that simply rolling back all of the pieces of the 2012 tax changes would resolve the budget hole - rather than piecing together a bunch of new tax increases.  “I think this is the wrong route to take.  If this budget crisis was caused by previous legislatures, then we need to go back and right the ship.  If the 2012 tax plan is a failure, let’s go back and look at the 2012 tax numbers and see where that puts us.”  Corbet is not a fan of revoking the 2012 tax plan.

    On another floor of the Capitol, the Senate Taxation Committee was compiling another tax proposal, including a form of flat tax with the lowest income Kansans (under $6300 for single filers and $12600 for married) paying 0% and everyone else paying 4.4%.  The plan would eliminate the current exemptions for LLCs and non-wage income January 1, 2018.  Many of the plans rejected to date have tried to make the tax increases retroactive to January 1, 2017.  The plan would also reduce the sales tax on food from 6.5% to 5.5%  This plan was proposed by first term Senator Larry Alley.

    So far this week, the Tax conference committee has rolled out two income tax increase proposals with multiple tax tiers, also revoking the LLC and non-wage income exemptions, along with reinstating a number of the income tax deductions that have been eliminated.  Each time, the scheduled floor debate (Tuesday in the Senate and Wednesday in the House) was cancelled for lack of votes. 

    At this point, neither chamber has taken the steps that would be needed to consolidate support for a tax proposal either through a coalition of moderate and conservative Republicans or through a coalition of moderate Republicans and Democrats.  One stumbling block is that many want to see an education funding plan passed before agreeing on a revenue package.  There are those who feel the proposals so far have not raised enough money and those who feel they raise too much.  And there are those who will not vote for any increase, believing that not enough has been done to cut state spending.  Neither the Senate nor the House can claim they have the votes organized for any given plan – and meanwhile, the Governor has already vetoed the tax proposal that was adopted in February that looked similar to this week’s bills.

    On Tuesday, legislators were told to plan to work through the weekend.  That remains to be seen.  The veto session appears likely to last beyond the two week target.




    -top:0in;marginsV] D 8

  • 07 Apr 2017 11:04 AM | Anonymous

    Senate Passes Limited Beer Compromise

    The Senate concurred on House Substitute for SB 13 this morning with a vote of 27-11. The bill will go to the Governor.

    There were supportive comments from senators who said they were glad to see a compromise to the beer issue that has been around the Legislature for 30 years.  According to Senate President Susan Wagle, the corporate grocery and convenience stores have been putting a lot of pressure on the Senate to deal with liquor expansion, particularly in the past six years or so, but she has always insisted the Senate wouldn’t deal with it until the corporate big guys sat down with the liquor stores to form some kind of agreement.

    Senator Anthony Hensley, leader of the minority party, stated his strong opposition to the process. Hensley protested that the bill did not have any hearings in the Senate and now – as a motion to concur – did not allow any opportunities for amendments.  He stated that the impact of beer sales in the grocery and convenience stores will be a hardship for liquor stores and he is concerned about the survival of some of the small businesses in his district.

    Several senators emphasized that the ten year moratorium on further liquor expansion legislation was very important to them, including Senator Oletha Faust-Goudeau, who asked the carrier of the bill, Senator Julia Lynn, to verify the ten years.

    Senator Lynn Rogers entered the following explanation of vote into the record:

    “I am voting yes on SB 13 today because small businesses in my District have asked me to.  These small businesses provide the livelihood to over 150 individuals or families who live in my district. Many of those owners were part of the discussion and deliberation process for SB 13 and reluctantly become proponents of compromise.  

    The 3 big box stores and multiple convenience stores in my district have told me they would simply add shelf space for product and not hire additional staff if major changes were made to our liquor laws. While access to liquor & wine in these kind of stores would be convenient, it would have meant fewer jobs and businesses for District 25.

    I'm glad these small businesses were part of the process on this bill because this body was not. With no hearing in our Chamber & only finding out about the compromise in the last couple days. I would have liked more time to hear from constituents.

    I hope the 10 year compromise evidenced by this legislation will be honored. I for one, will remember it clearly.”    

    Today is Drop Dead Day at the Kansas Legislature.  It is the First Adjournment deadline for wrapping up work on most bills before the Legislature takes a few weeks off.  Legislators will return to begin the Veto Session on May 1.

    PLEASE RSVP FOR KABR Meetings in Kansas City April 21-22-23 at THIS LINK.

  • 06 Apr 2017 2:12 PM | Anonymous

    The Kansas Senate defeated  SB 214 decisively today after debating the bill all morning and another hour or so after lunch.  

    A motion by Senator Alley to send the bill back to committee failed.  That would have kept the bill alive for further committee amendments, but senators preferred to kill the bill.

    The bill would have changed Kansas income taxes to a 4.6% flat tax.  Current law provides for a two bracket system at 2.6% and 4.6%.  The bill also eliminates the LLC income tax exemption and reduces the sales tax on food by 1% in the first year.  Governor Brownback has indicated support for this plan, but there opposition cited the insufficient revenue raised by the bill.  Senator Hensley quoted the Kansas Center for Economic Growth, which said the bill would raise taxes on a majority of lower income Kansans.

  • 06 Apr 2017 2:07 PM | Anonymous

    The House of Representatives passed House Sub for SB 13 today after debating for about an hour.   The bill now goes to the Senate for action - probably tomorrow.

    Rep. Erin Davis carried the bill and characterized it as a good compromise between retailer organizations and proponents of Uncork.  Opponents argued that the bill would harm small liquor stores (KABR included this statement in communications to legislators) and the compromise was not worth it.  Surprisingly, there wasn't any talk about "convenience" or "free markets".  Most of the supporters talked about the merits of the compromise, the impending CMB "crisis" and the potential benefits for liquor stores selling other products.  More than one legislator said that this was a true compromise in the sense that none of the parties were happy with everything in the bill.  Many legislators are pleased that the bill delays implementation for two years and sets an expectation that further liquor expansion will be delayed beyond that time.

    Read the KABR message to House members here.

    There were a few comments about the retailers associations and whether or not small liquor stores were members.  Two legislators cited messages from retailers who criticized the association.  That is hard to hear for the liquor store owners who commit their time and energies to the association meetings and teleconferences while others do not - but it is important to understand that this is significant change, and it is moving quickly because of First Adjournment.  People who are not in the Statehouse all session and seeing the shifting positions firsthand should not be expected to be suddenly pleased with compromise.  The effects of this change will be felt by all liquor stores.  We have encouraged legislators to stand by their local liquor stores - positive or negative - on the vote.  

    Just before lunch, the House voted to send the bill to final action on a vote of 70 - 50,  with five not voting.  A motion to "emergency" the bill to final action failed before lunch, but was successful when they returned to session at 2:00 p.m.  The Final Action vote was 80-45.

    YES:   Alcala, Aurand, Awerkamp, Ballard, Barker, Becker, Bishop, Brim, Burroughs, Campbell, Carpenter, Claeys, Clark, Clayton, Cox, Davis, Deere, Delperdang, Dierks, Deitrich, Dove, Elliott, Eplee, Esau, Finney, Frownfelter, Gallagher, Gartner, Good, Hawkins, Hineman, Holscher, Humphries, Jennings, Johnson, Karleskint, Kelly, Kessinger, Koesten, Lakin, Landwehr, Lusk, Lusker, Markley, Mason, Murnan, Neighbor, Ohaebosim, Osterman, Ousley, Parker, Phelps, Phillips, Pittman, Proehl, Rafie, Resman, Rooker, Ruiz, Ryckman, Sawyer, Schreiber, Schwab, Seiwert, Sloan, Smith, Stogsdill, Sutton, Swanson, Tarwater, Terrell, Trimmer, Ward, Weigel, Whipple, Whitmer, Williams, Wilson, Winn, Wolfe-Moore

    NO: Alford, Arnberger, Baker, Blex, Carlin, Carmichael, Concannon, Corbet, Crum, Curtis, DeGraaf, Ellis, Finch, Francis, Garber, Helgerson, Henderson, Hibbard, Highberger, Highland, Hodge, Hoffman, Houser, Huebert, Jacobs, Jones, Judd-Jenkins, Kuether, Lewis, Mastroni, Miller, Orr, Patton, Powell, Rahjes, Ralph, Schroeder, Smith, Thimesch, Thompson, Vickrey, Victors, Waymaster, Weber, Wheeler


    Brian Davis, President  316-990-1425  Email President

    Amy Campbell  785-969-1617   Email Lobbyist


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  • 06 Apr 2017 7:34 AM | Anonymous

    The House of Representatives is scheduled to debate House Sub for SB 13 today - that is the bill passed by the Commerce Committee on Tuesday.   The House convenes at 10:00 a.m.  You can listen at www.kslegislature.org House audio.

    KABR supports the compromise bill but has warned legislators that the compromise is harmful to many small businesses when CMB retailers begin selling beer up to 6% alcohol by volume April 1 2019 as prescribed in the legislation.  The compromise sets out multiple new rules regarding price nondiscrimination, changes the products that licensees are able to sell and is designed to establish a predictable regulatory marketplace for the near future.  

    It is a controversial issue for retailers.  The negotiated bill puts an end to the concerns about 3.2 products and the decreasing availability of these products without making corporate cmb retailers into liquor licensees.  Most agree that the options will not get better in the near future.  But there is an impact on retailers.

    The bill has generated a lot of interest and many legislators have commended the compromise.  At the same time, retailers are fortunate to have a strong number of legislators who are very concerned about the impact of the change on current retailers.

    Kansas Senate to Debate Flat Tax Today

    The Kansas Senate will try again to pass a tax plan this session before it goes on spring break Friday.  SB 214 would change Kansas income taxes to a 4.6% flat tax.  Current law provides for a two bracket system at 2.6% and 4.6%.  The bill also eliminates the LLC income tax exemption and reduces the sales tax on food by 1% in the first year.  Governor Brownback has indicated support for this plan, but there is opposition.  Many legislators say the plan doesn't raise enough money to cover the state's revenue needs, other oppose the measure because it will raise taxes for lower income Kansans.


    Brian Davis, President  316-990-1425  Email President

    Amy Campbell  785-969-1617   Email Lobbyist

  • 05 Apr 2017 6:59 AM | Anonymous

    Join retailers and legislators in Kansas City April 21-22-23 -  Learn about the 2017 Legislative Session liquor and tax legislation.  Be there to show that the decisions made in Topeka matter to all of us!  (There will not be a Kansas City meeting in August this year.)

    RSVP here:  Kansas City Retailers Conference and Legislative Luncheon 

    Please make your hotel reservations ASAP at Best Western Premier KC Speedway, 10401 France Family Drive, KC, KS 66111 913-334-4440.  Rooms are limited.

    Kansas City Retailers Conference and Legislative Luncheon Hotel Room Block and Sunday Board Mtg - Best Western Premier, 10401 France Family Drive, KC, KS 66111 913-334-4440 SEE EACH EVENT FOR LOCATIONS 
    Date: 21 Apr 2017 4:00 PM EDT 

    Kansas City Retailers Conference and Legislative Luncheon

    Friday, Saturday and Sunday - April 21-22-23, 2017



    FRIDAY SOCIAL with Legislators and Liquor Industry Members - AD ASTRA SELECTIONS 

    4:00 pm   - 7:00 pm      

     Ad Astra Selections, 9898 Pflumm Road, Lenexa, KS 66215



    12:00 - 1:30 pm   Legislators and Retailers Luncheon - Informal Roundtable with State Legislators.  

    Worldwide Wine and Spirits, LLC., 
    17501 W 98th Street #35 - 38, Lenexa, KS 66219


    News from the Kansas Legislature - liquor law changes and tax legislation updates.  Visit with area legislators.


    1:30 pm  - 3:00 pm   Retailers Strategy Session

    If you are a member of KABR, you should plan to attend.  Please send recommended agenda items to davisliquor2@cox.net


    Saturday Dinner:   


    6:30 - 8:30 p.m.  Dinner - Join other retailers for dinner - separate checks.




    9:30am - 12:00 pm KABR Official Business Meeting of the Board of Directors 

    1st Floor Conference Room, Best Western KC Speedway Inn at the Legends

    All Members are Encouraged to Attend the Official Business Meeting.




    Kansas Liquor Retailers have achieved impressive success at the Kansas Legislature over the past eight years, and we have done so by working together.  Our greatest challenges are yet to come - join us! 





    More information and online registration: Kansas City Retailers Conference and Legislative Luncheon 
    Special thanks to our sponsors:  Ad Astra Selections, Worldwide Wine and Spirits, and the Kansas Wine and Spirits Wholesalers Association.

  • 04 Apr 2017 9:44 PM | Anonymous

    House Commerce Committee Passes Limited Beer Proposal

    Today, the House Commerce Labor and Industry Committee met and passed the limited beer content compromise language that has been negotiated by KABR, KARLL and Uncork proponents.

    The Committee approved the new language as a substitute bill for HB 2282, then inserted the new bill into SB 13 - a move called a “gut and go”.  The full House of Representatives could debate the bill as soon as Thursday.

    Read Substitute for SB 13            Read the Supplemental Note for SB 13

    Before taking action, the Committee had a full discussion of the proposal and questioned representatives of these organizations, as well as the Kansas Beer Wholesalers and Kansas Wine and Spirits Wholesalers Association. 

    Read the KABR statement here.   Read the KARLL comments here. 

    In the meeting, Whitney Damron, KARLL; Amy Campbell, KABR; Tom Palace, Uncork Kansas; and Dick Stoffer, HyVee were each individually asked these questions by the Chairman and all responded yes to both questions. 

    • 1.       “Are you and the members of your organization in support of the Substitute Bill for HB 2282?”
    • 2.       “This legislation is a major, fundamental change in more than 60 years of state policy for the sale of intoxicating liquor products and is likely to have a marked impact on Kansas retailers as well as new licensees that will be allowed to sell CMB and a stronger beer product.  The substitute bill contains a requirement for ABC to conduct a market study and present its findings to the Legislature ten years following this bill’s enactment.  Do you and your clients believe this is a reasonable timeframe to allow for the impact of this law on all licensees to be measured before the Legislature considers additional, substantive changes to state law regarding where alcohol products are offered for sale?”

    Lobbyist Tom Palace verified that Uncork was representing the Petroleum Marketers and Convenience Stores Association, Casey’s General Stores, QuikTrip, Walmart, Dillons and HyVee and all support the agreement as stated above.

    Read the notes here.

    As word of this proposal has gotten around the Legislature, many have contacted us to learn about the legislation.  We are sharing information and helping them to connect with the retailers in their districts.  There has been appreciation from many legislators for the hard work that went into this effort.  It is obvious where our retailers have been actively involved and their legislators are very interested in how the proposal will work and how it will affect their communities and retailers in the future. 

    In addition to the moratorium, a key piece of this proposal is that it will keep the CMB outlets separate from our state regulated retail liquor stores – requiring the more regulated liquor stores to handle stronger beer, wine and spirits – rather than following the pattern of Oklahoma, Colorado, Tennessee and Arkansas, where grocery stores are becoming liquor/wine retailers.

    Click here for the list of House members.

    The Legislature is scheduled to reach First Adjournment on Friday, April 7 – but there were rumors today that they might wind up this week a little early.  At this point, there is still no budget, no tax plan, no new school finance formula.  The Senate adopted a Rescission Budget today and the House is supposed to act tomorrow – that is the budget for the current fiscal year ending June 30, 2017.  With all of these issues still pending, the veto session is unlikely to be short.




    Brian Davis, President  316-990-1425  Email President

    Amy Campbell  785-969-1617   Email Lobbyist


  • 03 Apr 2017 5:39 PM | Anonymous

    KABR will endorse the compromise proposal to maintain separate licensing structures for retailers of alcoholic liquor and CMB retailers to be implemented April 1, 2019.   The proposal will keep Kansas retail licenses separate for the sale of stronger alcohol products v. limited alcohol beer.   The compromise was negotiated between Uncork proponents, the Kansas Association of Beverage Retailers (KABR) and the Kansas Association for Responsible Liquor Laws (KARLL).   

    The proposal states CMB retailers would not sell beer over 6 percent alcohol by volume and liquor retailers may sell all current products plus cereal malt beverage.  Liquor retailers may sell other products up to 20% of gross sales, except that the sale of tobacco products and lottery shall not be included in the 20% limitation.  

    The Division of Alcoholic Beverage Control will issue an impact study in ten years to report the market impact of the law change.  The ten years will be a reasonable time to measure the impact of law on the liquor industry without further legislation to expand where liquor products are sold.  Uncork proponents will publicly support the ten year period.  

    Other changes include application of nondiscrimination and price rules to CMB and liquor licensees and provisions for distributors to require minimum orders for delivery, as well as retaining current definitions for CMB and beer.  KABR supports the Kansas independently owned retail liquor stores as the exclusive off premise retailer of higher alcohol beer and all wine and spirits products.

    While KABR is cautiously supportive, it is only because the reality of changes in the states around Kansas lead us to believe that postponement would only result in legislation that is less targeted at CMB and even more harmful to our small businesses and our communities.

    The impact of changes to Kansas beer laws is likely to be harmful to many Kansas small businesses - and that impact should not be diminished.  The 2019 strong beer implementation date in Colorado legislation and 2018 in Oklahoma has created a desire for "3.2 solution" in the Legislature and the parties have worked to draft a solution that maintains the public safety priority for regulating the sale of alcoholic beverages, while attempting to minimize the advantages of corporate retailers where possible.  

    KABR's support is conditional on the provisions above - any significant changes in this proposal or efforts by Uncork proponents to avoid the public statements supporting the moratorium could void that support.


    Brian Davis, President  316-990-1425  Email President

    Amy Campbell  785-969-1617   Email Lobbyist


  • 03 Apr 2017 12:59 PM | Anonymous

    Updated information:  Uncork has signed off on the committee questions, will speak for the committee record and agree to the ten year moratorium.  Bill would include a market impact report from the Division of ABC in ten years and the Uncork members would respond to the following question - or something similar:

    “Do the members of Uncork believe this is a reasonable time frame to allow for the impact of this law on all licensees to be measured before the Legislature considers additional, substantive changes to state law regarding where alcohol products are offered for sale?”

    Implementation date would be April 1, 2019 - instead of January 1.

    Proposal would allow CMB retailers to sell up to beer that is 6.0 alcohol by volume and allow liquor stores to sell cereal malt beverages.

    Liquor stores could sell other products up to 20% of gross sales.  Could sell lottery and tobacco, but lottery and tobacco sales would not be part of the 20% limitation.

    • Rules and regulations amended to apply price nondiscrimination rules across licenses (i.e. for CMB and liquor retailers).
    • Division of ABC will have authority to implement rules and enforce them in CMB outlets.
    • No CMB retailer could sell for less than acquisition cost plus applicable tax except as otherwise provided by law and rules.
    • Distributors request provision to establish minimum order quantities by case or dollar value.
    • Distributors request provision to grandfather CMB and strong beer franchises as of January 1, 2017.
    • Wine is removed from the legislation.

    The discussions have been directed and facilitated by the Speaker of the House and the House Commerce Committee Chairman.  

    The House Committee on Commerce Labor and Industry is likely to meet in the next couple of days to discuss the proposal.  

    The Board of Directors will vote on the issue this afternoon.  


    Brian Davis, President  316-990-1425  Email President

    Amy Campbell  785-969-1617   Email Lobbyist


  • 01 Apr 2017 4:56 PM | Anonymous

    Conversations with grocery and convenience stores regarding the 3.2 issue took a jump forward March 30 when Uncork representatives changed their position regarding a moratorium on future liquor expansion legislation. 

    The retailers groups have said that they are willing to explore a solution to the anticipated changes in the 3.2 cereal malt beverage market but would need assurance that the Uncork proponents would not be pushing further liquor deregulation in the near future.

    Spokesmen for Walmart and others initially insisted that such an agreement would be a violation of federal anti-trust laws – restriction of trade  KABR asserted that retailers would need to anticipate a stable regulatory environment for a significant time period. 

    Now it appears that the proponents may be willing to state on the record (before the committee and in the committee records) that this 3.2 proposal satisfies their legislative agenda and they would agree that a ten year timeframe is reasonable to allow for the impact of the new law on all licensees to be evaluated and reported by the Division of ABC – before the Legislature considers additional, substantive changes to state law regarding where alcohol products are offered for sale.

    KABR proposed language ordering the Division of ABC to submit a report after ten years to the Legislature in order to establish that timeframe.  That report would include numbers of licensees on an annual basis over ten years, tax revenue/sales numbers from CMB and liquor products, density issues – impact on rural markets, social impact – DUIs, theft, etc.

    Other issues are:

    • 6.0 Alcohol by Volume beer sales allowed for cmb retailers. Uncork requested 8.99 ABV – the Oklahoma law.  The beer wholesalers indicate that the number should be 6.0 ABV.  The Committee Chairman’s recommendation was 7.5%, but he has indicated he had picked up that number from conversations and is not committed to it.  (Liquor retailers sell CMB.)
    • Allow liquor stores to sell other products, up to 20% of their sales could come from these other items.  Tobacco and lottery would be allowed, but not considered part of the 20% calculation. This was proposed by the Chairman. Convenience stores oppose the tobacco portion, but will accept it for a 2019 implementation date.
    • Implementation date:   April 1, 2019.  Retailers suggested implementing the law in 2020, but Uncork insisted it happen by or before January 1, 2019.  The parties debated this issue back and forth.  January is a difficult month for retailers and pushing it back should allow for transition activities during slower months of the year.  The Oklahoma law begins October 1, 2018 and the Colorado law begins January 1, 2019. CMB retailers have been told that the supply of 3.2 will be in doubt by 2019 because of these law changes.  Read more about this below.
    • Moratorium suggested language – “Do the members of Uncork believe this is a reasonable timeframe to allow for the impact of this law on all licensees to be measured before the Legislature considers additional, substantive changes to state law regarding where alcohol products are offered for sale?”
    • Rules and regulations amended to apply price nondiscrimination rules across licenses (i.e. for CMB and liquor retailers).
    • Division of ABC will have authority to implement rules and enforce them in CMB outlets.
    • No CMB retailer could sell for less than acquisition cost plus applicable tax except as otherwise provided by law and rules.  (Same as liquor retailer.)
    • Distributors request provision to establish minimum order quantities by case or dollar value.
    • Distributors request provision to grandfather CMB and strong beer franchises/definitions as of January 1, 2017.
    • Wine is removed from the legislation.

    The discussions have been directed and facilitated by the Speaker of the House and the House Commerce Committee Chairman.  The Speaker would like to see a public committee hearing scheduled before the Legislature goes home for First Adjournment April 7.   Things are moving quickly and KABR will keep you informed.

    The Board of Directors will vote on this issue during the Monday teleconference at 4:30.  All members are encouraged to participate in the bimonthly KABR teleconferences. 


    Amy Campbell, Lobbyist  785-969-1617 Email Lobbyist

    Brian Davis, President 316-990-1425  email Brian

Kansas Association of Beverage Retailers       P.O. Box 3842, Topeka, KS  66604      Email KABR  

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