New coalition pushes to ease Kansas liquor laws

TOPEKA | A new lobbying organization that includes some of the country's largest grocery and convenience store chains wants to relax Kansas restrictions on liquor sales.

The coalition is pushing a new bill in the Kansas Senate that would allow grocery stores, convenience stores and gas stations to sell full-strength beer and wine. It also would allow liquor stores to begin selling other items, such as food or gas.

The Wichita Eagle reports that supporters of the bill said in a news conference Tuesday that it would generate more than 12,000 new jobs, $216 million in additional wages and $72 million in new taxes.

But an association of liquor store owners says the real goal of the bill is to move lucrative liquor sales to large corporations, such as Walmart or Dillons.