TOPEKA (KSNT)- Kansas Governor Laura Kelly has signed a bill that includes several changes to state alcohol laws.

The governor signed House Bill 2059, which amends several provisions of the Kansas Liquor Control Act, the Kansas Cereal Malt Beverage Act and the Club and Drinking Establishment Act. One of the more highlighted features of the proposal is the expansion of common consumption areas in the state. This would allow for local governments to have more flexibility in designating areas for drinking.


The new law removes the requirement that a city or county require that the portions of common consumption areas on public streets or roadways be blocked from motorized traffic during events.

During hearings on the bill in January, leaders of the NOTO Arts & Entertainment District testified. Thomas Underwood, Executive Director of the organization, said that current state law has prevented people from bar-hopping during special events.

“We have special events with music, performing arts, but yet… you can’t purchase a drink from the Wheel Barrel, the Norsemen, or the four or five other entities in NOTO to enjoy the music, just because we have that restriction where you can’t cross the street,” Underwood said.


The bill also permits restaurants to allow dogs in outside areas on their premises and allows dogs in microbreweries upon meeting specific conditions.

In addition to allowing dogs in outside areas at all food establishments, food establishments that are microbreweries would be permitted to allow dogs in inside areas, but dogs would not be permitted in food or drink preparation areas, including, but not limited to, kitchens and behind bars.

The feature was proposed after breweries and state health officials clashed over whether dogs should be allowed in food establishments. Under the current version of the Kansas food code, nonservice dogs aren’t allowed in any food establishment, though licensed places can apply to have dogs allowed in outdoor patio spaces.

This new law would change that requirement to allow dogs inside microbreweries and outside other food establishments, if certain conditions are met.


Lawmakers included several liquor modernization provisions in a bipartisan tax package, which passed 111-11 in the House and 34-6 in the Senate.

Another feature of the plan would allow for more bars to open on Sundays, according to proponents.

Current state law requires Kansas retailers to sell alcohol on Sundays if food makes up at least 30% of their sales. The bill would get rid of that requirement.

In the House Committee hearing, Representative Tory Marie Blew, R-Great Bend and a representative of the Kansas Beer Wholesalers Association provided supportive testimony, stating the bill would help businesses with only a CMB license to sell such products by-the-drink on Sundays in a county with a food sales requirement.

Representative Adam Thomas, a Republican from Olathe, said he’s hoping the bill will help bring an economic boost to the state.

“If you’re an establishment and you sell cereal malt beverages, and your gross receipts are less than 30% when it comes to food, you can’t do that,” Thomas said. “So, this bill simply makes that change to allow more revenue to be brought in, more local businesses to make money, and potentially more revenue for the state.”