TOPEKA, Kan. — The state that made saloon smasher Carrie Nation famous is moving to allow people to get beer and cocktails to go after the coronavirus pandemic.
Kansas lawmakers approved a bill last week to 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.
The measure is headed to Gov. Laura Kelly after the Senate approved it, 30-9, and the House passed it, 101-18, on Friday. 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.
Kristi Brown, senior director of state government relations for the Distilled Spirits Council of the United States, said Monday that the pandemic "eviscerated" restaurants, and such temporary policies in more than 30 states were "a lifeline."
Now, she said, "This is what the consumer wants."
The council said eight states, including Arkansas and Iowa, and the District of Columbia have made cocktails to go permanent, and lawmakers also have passed bills to do so in Florida, Kansas, Oklahoma and Texas. Another four states have extended temporary policies.