Kansas to set up weevil program, let drinkers roam at fair

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — New Kansas laws will make the state fair home to drinkers who roam and allow the state to tax each bale of home-grown cotton up to $2 to pay for efforts to get rid of the bug that ruins cotton crops.

Democratic Gov. Laura Kelly on Monday signed bills approved by the Republican-controlled Legislature to boost beer and wine sales at the state fair and to create a program for combatting boll weevil infestations.

The State Fair sought the change in the law dealing with alcohol consumption during the annual two-week fair in September in Hutchinson, basing it on a practice allowed in other states.

Patrons 21 and older already can consume beer and wine in designated buildings and areas, but the new law will allow them to walk outside those areas with their drinks “within boundaries that have been marked with a three-dimensional barrier.”

The boll weevil law sets up a board with five voting members appointed by the state’s secretary of agriculture to run the new program and set the per-bale tax.

If weevils are detected in Kansas, the board can develop and implement a plan for eradicating them.


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