(WICHITA, Kan.)—Supporters of a bill to change the state's liquors laws have offered a compromise.
Uncork Kansas wants lawmakers to expand liquor sales to grocery stores. It's now offering to take "hard" liquor out of the equation.
Members of Uncork Kansas, a coalition of grocery stores, convenience stores and chambers of commerce want to compromise, this after drafting a bill that would allow those stores to sell all types of liquor.
Now, it's pulling back, slightly.
"We learned that in a 20 point margin survey, when we remove the option for liquor, residents would much prefer to purchase single strength beer and wine," said Shelia Lowrie, spokeswoman for Dillons.
Dillons joined Uncork Kansas about two years ago. The group is now asking lawmakers to allow stores to sell wine and full-strength beer.
Current law allows the stores to sell only 3.2 beer and wine coolers.
Opponents said changing the law will put small liquor stores out of business. some customers want options.
"It would just cut down on the trips that you have to make, like this evening I'm here, I'm going to get my groceries, after wards I'm going to get a bottle of wine, just for the weekend. It would be great to just make one stop and get it all done and taken care of," said Vanessa Hong, Dillons customer.
"I come in to shop and I just ignore the liquor," says Joellen Hancock.
"I've been in a couple of states, visiting relatives that had a couple of aisles of liquor and it just seems out of place to me," says Jerry Jonas.
Uncork Kansas has attempted to change the state's liquor laws before but similar bills failed. With this new bill, there is some hope that things will change.
"There is some movement and changing viewpoints, that's why we believe that this is the right time to pass this legislation. It's exactly what our customers have been asking for," Lowrie said.
The house committee could vote on the bill as early as next week. If it passes it would go to the full House.