Liquor Store Owners, Others Testify Against Updated Laws on Sale of Beer, Wine and Spirits Using Misleading Scares Tactics, Not Facts
TOPEKA, Kan., Feb. 16, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Following yesterday's hearing in the Senate Federal and State Affairs Committee when representatives of the Coalition for Jobs and Consumer Choice (CJCC) testified in support of Senate Bill No. 54, opponents of the bill testified today, relying on false claims and misrepresentations of the truth as counterarguments to economic data and testimony from store owners on the potential personal impact.
The passage of SB 54 would not only allow retailers like grocery stores and convenience stores to sell full-strength beer, wine and spirits but also permit liquor stores to sell food items. Updated laws would help Kansas benefit from free market competition; allowing consumers to drive product availability and price. According to a study by Dr. Art Hall, Director for the Center for Applied Economics at the University of Kansas, updating Kansas' laws could create nearly 15,000 jobs, $343 million in wages, and $72.5 million in state and local tax revenue for the state.
"Healthy competition is essential to creating more efficient and productive retailers that will benefit customers in the end," said Gratz Peters, co-owner of Pete's Corporation and board member of the Petroleum Marketers and Convenience Store Association of Kansas. "Today's consumers want competition, convenience, and better selection, which are restricted under current liquor laws. SB 54 will open up a free market economy, which will benefit customers and retailers alike."
Just this week, the Topeka Capital-Journal reported that the Underage Drinking Task Force issued citations to nine local liquor stores after they sold alcohol to undercover informants who weren't 21 years or older – making one in five liquor stores in the city in violation. Grocery and convenience stores have a long track record of selling age-restricted products, and will continue to do so. According to the ABC, in 2010 grocery and convenience stores had a better compliance rate of sales to minors (94%) than did liquor stores (84%).
"There is no evidence to suggest that allowing grocery stores and convenience stores to sell beer, wine and spirits will change the prevailing patterns of alcohol consumption in Kansas," said Dr. Hall, Director for the Center for Applied Economics at the University of Kansas. "This legislation will only impact the shopping patterns of Kansas consumers. Kansas is a low alcohol consumption state and updating the law is not going to change that."
Tomorrow, Thursday, February 17, will be the final day of the hearings in the Committee.
The Coalition for Jobs and Consumer Choice (CJCC) represents hundreds of companies and thousands of Kansans who recognize the immediate and positive impact that updated laws on the sale of beer, wine and spirits will have on the Kansas economy. To learn more, please visit CJCC's website at www.jobsforkansas.com.
SOURCE Coalition for Jobs and Consumer Choice