Alcohol legislation stalls in Missouri Senate

Wednesday, May 15, 2013 | 7:41 a.m. CDT; updated 9:36 a.m. CDT, Wednesday, May 15, 2013

JEFFERSON CITY — Legislation has stalled in the Missouri Senate dealing with the business agreements between alcohol producers and those that distribute the products to restaurants, stores and other retailers.

Senators debated the measure Tuesday but did not reach a vote. Lawmakers have until 6 p.m. Friday to approve legislation before their mandatory adjournment.

The liquor industry dispute began after a 2011 federal court ruling. Missouri has a three-tier system in which producers engage a distributor that provides alcohol to retailers.

Legislation last year was vetoed, and this year's measure has prompted significant lobbying efforts at the Capitol. Supporters say the legislation is needed to bring clarity to a marketplace that has become chaotic. Critics contend it goes further and would give distributors too much power.

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