Archive for Thursday, July 15, 2010

Statehouse Live: Parkinson delays last call on cheap drinks; puts brakes on new alcoholic beverage pricing policy

A sign hangs inside one Downtown Lincoln bar in this file photo from March. Kansas Gov. Mark Parkinson Thursday halted the implementation of a policy that would raise prices on alcohol.

A sign hangs inside one Downtown Lincoln bar in this file photo from March. Kansas Gov. Mark Parkinson Thursday halted the implementation of a policy that would raise prices on alcohol.

July 15, 2010, 4:25 p.m. Updated July 15, 2010, 6:29 p.m.

Advertisement

— Last call on cheap drinks just got delayed.

State officials delay alcohol enforcement

State officials will delay alcohol enforcement legislature that would cause an increase in prices. Gov. Mark Parkinson put the breaks on the plan and the Alcoholic Beverage Control will resume discussion on the matter during the next session. Enlarge video

Gov. Mark Parkinson gave a reprieve to bar owners Thursday by delaying implementation of a policy that some complained would have driven up the cost of alcoholic beverages.

Earlier this week, the Alcoholic Beverage Control division of the Kansas Department of Revenue said it would start Aug. 1 enforcing a long-ignored law that said drinking establishments can’t increase the amount of alcohol in a drink without increasing the price proportionately.

Many establishments offer special deals for larger drinks, and bar owners reacted angrily to the decision.

In Lawrence, PJ Mather, manager at Louise’s West, said she thought the ABC’s policy would affect every bar in town. And Chuck Magerl, owner of Free State Brewery, noted that while brewery’s popular take-home growlers wouldn’t fall under the new policy, the brewery would have to adjust its prices for glasses of beer.

But not everyone was upset by ABC’s action.

Kathryn Nemeth Tuttle, associate vice provost for student success at Kansas University, saw the policy as a step in the right direction to curtail binge drinking.

“If the goal is to consume as many drinks as rapidly as possible, then perhaps students will stop and think if the price goes up,” Nemeth Tuttle said. “That has shown to be effective in reducing cigarette usage.”

Kansas Attorney General Steve Six expressed some concern about the new policy, according to a statement from Parkinson’s office.

“The interpretation of the statute and regulations related to the pricing of drinks has the potential to significantly impact hundreds of small businesses and generate confusion for consumers,” said Parkinson’s spokeswoman, Amy Jordan Wooden.

Parkinson then put the plan on hold.

Now, ABC will meet with stakeholders “to assess the impact of this policy memorandum and seek guidance and clarification on the statute from the 2011 Kansas Legislature,” the governor’s office said. The 2011 legislative session starts in January.

Phil Bradley, CEO and lobbyist for the Kansas Licensed Beverage Association, said restaurant and bars had been following the 1986 state law. The difference with the policy, Bradley said, is that they were increasing the cost proportionately to just the alcohol in the drink, not the price of the entire drink. So a drink with double the amount of alcohol wouldn’t be double the price because other costs — such as the labor involved — hadn’t changed.

Comments

riverdrifter 4 years, 10 months ago

Lord, almighty, Big_B, we agree once again. Wow! Dismantle and defund the ABC dinosaur and do away with it completely. So that you can walk into a Dillons or Hy-Vee and "Liquor and wine, sir? That would be over on aisle 7." Fat chance. This is Kansas, after all.

KS 4 years, 10 months ago

Big-B, you must write threads in the Topeka Cap. Journal as well. Looked very familiar. There is an old saying that if you don't like a law, enforce it. It somehow gets changed. This could be an example. ABC may have just wanted to clean up the books a little.

Hoots 4 years, 10 months ago

This law in no way would ever stop binge drinking. Just like when they made the drinking age 21. 18 year olds couldn't drink beer anymore so of course they would follow the law. I was of age when that took place and it only drove 18 year olds to start drinking the hard stuff. Kids couldn't go to a 3.2 beer bar so they got fake ID's and would rather go to the effort to get vodka rather than a 3.2 beer after that. I love how so many forget the fact they were that age at one point. Why do people in politics have such small brains? Funny they don't have these problems in the places I've been on the planet that have no real drinking age.

lionheart72661 4 years, 10 months ago

Raise the liquor tax to 9.0 percent across the board. they have no problem taxing cigarettes because they cause cancer. Well alcohol does a heck of a lot more damage than cigarettes. That would help with the deficit. underage drinking is a real and serious problem with a greater health risk to young and old alike. Parkinson is an idiot and no doubt a drinker because he for one sounds like he doesn't want to pay more for a drimk. No doubt this opinion will be deleted because freedom of speech offends some JW readers. Raise the tax on alcohol and get over it. I'm not a smoker but tired of the smokers getting the brunt of having to pay for Govt. spending. Parkinson and the rest of the Kansas govt. Should take a massive pay cut too. They get paid way too much. Remember people. They work for us. We don't have to cower down to them. It is high time they start listening to us. Let the people make the decisions. Not those idiots in Topeka.

Pete_Schweti 4 years, 10 months ago

"them Duke boys." It's "them Duke boys!"

Lindsey Buscher 4 years, 10 months ago

Dammit I wish Parkinson would run for governor.

Matt Bowers 4 years, 10 months ago

All this talk about raising taxes on alcohol and ciggs and no one mentions junk food. Coco-Cola has done a knockout job of making everyone think that alcohol and ciggs are the only sins. What about the amount of money it cost Kansas and the United States to deal with obesity, diabetes, heart disease, and who knows what else. Legislators do have simple minds when it comes to increasing taxes, how about 40% hike on junk food. I bet that will bring down health care cost and help farmers who could then become more marketable. Seems like something that would be so easy for Lawrence to get down with. Then there always is the argument that parents and individuals turn to junk food because of the cost and convenience. Of course a 40% hike on junk food would hurt certain small businesses, so maybe there is no answer. Of course you could make simple exemptions for bakeries and candy stores. That is my two cents.

whatadrag 4 years, 10 months ago

I quit reading your comment when you said Coca-Cola. They sell diet sodas, which has no parallel in the tobacco and alcohol industries, unless you consider the very small market of NA beer.

anitliars 4 years, 10 months ago

I totally agree that Kansas liquor laws need to be changed in major ways. They were written to support mom & pop shops and in light of the vice-blue-law attitude that prevailed. Why should Kansans not be able to buy wine at the grocery stores, like most of the country!?

However, I do not think the governor has the power or authority to tell law enforcement to ignore law breakers. I remember when Governor Finney got in a TON of hot water b/c she told the Highway Patrol to stop ticketing farm trucks that were overweight when hauling wheat during harvest time. The governor can work with the legislature to get laws changed. And should. But if we have a Governor who thinks they can dicate what laws should be followed or ignored, think where that can lead?!!

Tom Wilson 4 years, 10 months ago

Gov Parkinson sees the federal government infringing on private business and believes he can do the same. If he is lacking higher priorities, he truly is a lame duck governor! Perhaps these bar owners should start hiring union employees only. Then, like the feds, the government will leave them alone.

boltzmann 4 years, 10 months ago

Do you have reading comprehension problems? The article is about him delaying enforcement of an regulation on private businesses - how is that "infringement"?

erotomania 4 years, 10 months ago

One more reason to leave this "slow" state behind!

Ricky_Vaughn 4 years, 10 months ago

Gotta protect the foundation of our local economy...

Truami 4 years, 10 months ago

How about this... make alcohol very expensive and reduce the cost of organic foods. Nutritious things = cheap Poison = expensive lets not confuse that philosophy people. We need to have a bold statement to the general public that they pay high dollar for their ridiculous deaths.

Aiko 4 years, 10 months ago

That drink menu is full of cheap liquor and sugareeee. I hope this is a ladies night menu......

Richard Heckler 4 years, 10 months ago

"Phil Bradley, CEO and lobbyist for the Kansas Licensed Beverage Association, said restaurant and bars had been following the 1986 state law. The difference with the policy, Bradley said, is that they were increasing the cost proportionately to just the alcohol in the drink, not the price of the entire drink. So a drink with double the amount of alcohol wouldn’t be double the price because other costs — such as the labor involved — hadn’t changed."

If this can be substantiated it is a reasonable explanation.

Want to curb drunk driving? First Offense $5,000 fine and cannot own a car for 12 months. Sentence all second offenders to 3 years house arrest. 3rd time offender house arrest for 10 years. All mandatory!

KansasPerson 4 years, 10 months ago

Kathryn Nemeth Tuttle, associate vice provost for student success at Kansas University, saw the policy as a step in the right direction to curtail binge drinking. “If the goal is to consume as many drinks as rapidly as possible, then perhaps students will stop and think if the price goes up,” Nemeth Tuttle said. “That has shown to be effective in reducing cigarette usage.”

Soooo.... punish a state-ful of law-abiding, moderate adults just because some people lack self-control or resistance to peer pressure?

whatadrag 4 years, 10 months ago

As a current student, I haven't met anyone who goes to the bars to "consume as many drinks as rapidly as possible." Besides, that could be accomplished at home much more economically.

igby 4 years, 10 months ago

They could tax the pike on the sidewalk too!

igby 4 years, 10 months ago

Puke not pike! A pike is what should be used on the law makers! Lol

Commenting has been disabled for this item.