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Archive for Thursday, February 21, 2002

Keg registration bill passes Senate

February 21, 2002

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— The Senate passed a bill Wednesday requiring retailers to track buyers of beer kegs, and some House members called it an improvement over a similar measure last year.

Approved on a 32-8 vote, the bill would require retailers to put numbered tags on beer kegs holding 4 gallons or more and record a buyer's name, address and driver's license number as well as the date.

"I anticipate that it will pass," said Rep. Doug Mays, R-Topeka, chairman of the House Federal and State Affairs Committee, which last year tabled a similar bill that was passed by the Senate.

Proponents say tracking keg purchases will make it much easier to prosecute people who illegally supply beer to minors and will cut down on underage drinking.

The bill requires store owners to keep records until the rented keg is returned.

Last year's bill would have required that records be kept for six months, regardless of when a keg was returned. Retailers complained that such record-keeping would be too burdensome.

This year's version resulted from a compromise between the main advocate Republican Sen. Jim Barnett of Emporia and liquor industry officials.

Rep. Tony Powell, a member of the House committee, said the record-keeping issue had been the main obstacle.

"If they've made an agreement with the alcohol industry, I think it'll fly out of there," said Powell, R-Wichita.

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