Gov. Sam Brownback signed a bill that helps the state overcome a budget shortfall this year, and one that allows grocery stores to sell stronger beer.
The pair of bills were among 11 pieces of legislation signed into law by Brownback on Tuesday, according to an announcement from the governor’s office.
Grocery stores, along with convenience and drugstores, will be able to sell beer with 6.0 percent alcohol by volume starting April 1, 2019, according to the bill.
Those stores now can sell beer with alcohol weight of around 3.2 percent. The changes to the law do not allow the stores to sell liquor or wine.
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The bill also allows liquor stores to sell nonalcoholic items such as mixers, tonic water, limes and ice — not exceeding 20 percent of their sales.
The legislation passed both the House and Senate with bipartisan support earlier this year.
Another bill signed by Brownback mends the budget shortfall for the 2017 fiscal year ending in June.
The bill helps erase the current shortfall of around $290 million by borrowing money from a long-term investment fund and reducing payments to the state’s pension system.
The changes are expected to leave the state with an ending balance of around $50 million when the 2017 fiscal year ends June 30.
Kansas still faces projected budget shortfalls of around $1 billion over the next two years.