Senators Want Discounts Allowed For Alcohol

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KELO Pierre Capitol building legislature

State senators gave a resounding yes Thursday to allowing discount prices again for alcohol such as wine and beer in South Dakota.

The state House is the next stop for Senate Bill 53.

Retail businesses throughout South Dakota offered quantity or cash discounts.

That is, until last year, when state officials cracked down.

Senator Lee Schoenbeck said retailers had thought discounts were legal.

“It’s not uncommon,” the Watertown Republican said.

He put together the final version that the Senate passed 33-0 Thursday.

Republican Senator Deb Soholt of Sioux Falls called the legislation “one of those common-sense things we need to do.”

Republican Senator Jack Kolbeck of Sioux Falls noted the bill came up for debate on a historic day: The anniversary when the first canned beer was sold in South Dakota back in 1935.

“Any other remarks that are germane?” quipped Republican Senator Brock Greenfield of Clark, who presided over the debate.

Democratic Senator Reynold Nesiba of Sioux Falls asked what led to the ban in the first place.

Schoenbeck said it probably came from “the Depression days” and was meant to protect against what he called “big box” retailers who could use their size to demand unfair discounts from wholesalers.

Schoenbeck was the only senator with his name on the bill. The same is true now that it’s headed to the House, where Republican Representative Tim Rounds of Pierre is the lone sponsor.

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