S.B. 581 amends two statutes related to the sale of alcoholic liquor. Section 1 would amend a statute in the Liquor Control Act which provides city residents the option to vote on whether to allow retail liquor stores to operate within the city's corporate limits. The current law states that this question may only be submitted to voters at a regular general city election once every four years. This section would repeal this four-year requirement and allow this issue to come before the voters at any regular general city election.
Sections 2 and 3 would permit licensed farm wineries to produce and sell "domestic fortified wine" under the same conditions farm wineries are currently permitted to produce and sell domestic table wine. Domestic fortified wine would contain between 14 percent and 20 percent alcohol by volume and be made from agricultural products grown in Kansas. The definition would not include distilled products.
Other amendments in S.B. 581 are technical in nature.
If adopted, Section 1 would allow more frequent possibilities for a vote on retail liquor stores as regular general city elections are held every two years. This section would not amend any prerequisites, other than the time limit, to placing the issue on the ballot.
The introduction of Section 1, which was the original version of S.B. 581, was requested by Representative Shari Weber. John Heins, resident of Americus, testified in favor of the section. There were no opponents.
Sections 2 and 3 of S.B. 581 were originally provisions of Sub. for S.B. 610 which previously passed the Senate. These provisions were amended into S.B. 581 by the Senate Committee of the Whole. These sections would create a separate definition for domestic fortified wine with a specific range of alcohol content. The introduced version of S.B. 610 would have included fortified wine in the farm winery statutes by removing the alcohol percentage limitation from the definition of domestic table wine.
Proponents of Sections 2 and 3 included the Kansas Grape Growers and Winemakers Association and winemakers from Salina and Basehor. No opponents presented testimony to the Senate Committee.
The Division of the Budget reported that Section 1 of S.B. 581 would have no fiscal impact. With regard to Sections 2 and 3, the Division of the Budget's fiscal note for the introduced version of S.B. 610 stated that the Division assumed that the bill would have no fiscal impact. That fiscal note did not address any potential impact of the substitute bill.
1. *Supplemental notes are prepared by the Legislative Research Department and do not express legislative intent. The supplemental note and fiscal note for this bill may be accessed on the Internet at http://www.ink.org/public/legislative/fulltext-bill.html.