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Governor Kelly signs bill making cocktails to-go permanent

Sugar House bartender Shelby Minnix creates a Lavender Lemonade cocktail in a to-go bottle,...
Sugar House bartender Shelby Minnix creates a Lavender Lemonade cocktail in a to-go bottle, Thursday, Aug. 13, 2020, in Detroit. At least 33 states and the District of Columbia are temporarily allowing cocktails to-go during the pandemic, up from around three before the coronavirus struck. Dave Kwiatkowski, who owns the Sugar House was able to reopen July 10 for carryout service. Kwiatkowski normally employs a staff of 16, but for now, it's just him at the door and a bartender making drinks. (AP Photo/Carlos Osorio)(Carlos Osorio | AP)
Updated: May. 19, 2021 at 6:10 PM CDT
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TOPEKA, Kan. (KWCH/AP) - Governor Laura Kelly signed HB 2137 on Wednesday making cocktails to-go from restaurants and bars permanent in Kansas.

Kansas becomes the 12th state to make cocktails to-go a permanent measure.

The new law will allow to-go beer and alcoholic drinks from clubs, bars and restaurants until 11 p.m., as long as the drinks are in sealed containers and clear bags that discourage tampering. Lawmakers approved the measure earlier this month, and it takes effect later this month.

It continues a policy Kelly set by executive order in April 2020 when Kansas was under a statewide stay-at-home order and that remained in effect through March.

“Governor Kelly has supported Kansas restaurants and bars by allowing cocktails to-go via executive order during the pandemic,” said Kristi Brown, Distilled Spirits Council of the United States Senior Director of State Government Relations. “Cocktails to-go provided a much-needed lifeline for struggling hospitality businesses and prevented the permanent closure of many. Now that this measure is permanent, Kansas businesses will have increased stability as they begin the long path to recovery. We applaud the legislature and Governor Kelly for supporting local businesses and for providing increased convenience to consumers.”

More than 35 states began allowing restaurants and/or bars to sell cocktails to-go as a COVID economic relief measure. Iowa, Ohio, Kentucky, Wisconsin, Montana, Arkansas, West Virginia, Georgia, Oklahoma, Texas, Florida, Kansas and the District of Columbia have all made COVID-era cocktails to-go measures permanent. Dozens of other states are also considering legislation to extend or make permanent cocktails to-go measures.

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