DISTILLED SPIRITS COUNCIL URGES KANSAS LEGISLATURE TO SUPPORT THE SUPREME COURT RULING BY PERMITTING SUNDAY ALCOHOL SALES
WASHINGTON, DC – Following the recent Kansas Supreme Court decision giving cities the right to pass local Sunday sales ordinances, the Distilled Spirits Council today urged the Kansas legislature to pass uniform legislation allowing Sunday alcohol sales statewide. Many retailers, who stayed open on Sunday while the court deliberated, hailed the Supreme Court’s ruling. “It’s going to keep tax dollars here rather than going to Kansas City, Mo.,” retailer Merrill “Pee Wee” Wright told the Kansas City Kansan. “My business has really been good on Sundays. It’s like adding four more Saturdays every month. It hasn’t taken away from the Saturday business, either.” In a unanimous ruling on March 19, the Kansas Supreme Court upheld a ruling last year by the Wyandotte County District Court which concluded that cities could exempt themselves from the state’s Sunday alcohol sales ban because the 1949 Liquor Control Act did not apply uniformly to all cities. Under the state’s home-rule amendment to the constitution, cities can exempt themselves from non-uniform acts. “This Supreme Court ruling is a win for consumers, small businesses and the state of Kansas,” said Peter Cressy, President of the Distilled Spirits Council. “We call on the legislature to finally put this issue to rest by passing a uniform Liquor Control Act permitting the sale of alcohol on Sunday – Kansas consumers deserve no less.” The Sunday alcohol sales debate began in November 2002, when Kansas City residents voted 59.3% to 40.7% to permit retail liquor stores to sell spirits, beer and wine on Sundays. The state’s Attorney General challenged the measure in court after some municipalities began approving Sunday sales. Kansas is the latest in a string of states rolling back antiquated blue laws to modernize the marketplace for consumers and increase state tax revenue. Within the last two years, seven states — Kansas, Idaho, Massachusetts, Delaware, New York, Pennsylvania and Oregon – have joined the list of states allowing Sunday spirits sales.