Saturday, March 13, 2010

UnCorkNJ -UPDATE- What's Next?

New Jersey Senate Passes Direct Shipping Bill

Your letters, emails, phone calls and support made the difference this past Thursday!!

Thursday afternoon, the State Senate passed the direct shipping of wine bill, S766 sponsored by Senate President Stephen Sweeney (D-3), by a vote of 29 to 5.

Because of your support, we are one step closer to providing New Jersey residents with consumer choice in wine!

The Assembly counterpart bill, A1702, will now be heard by the Assembly Regulatory Oversight and Gaming Committee.

Please continue to encourage your friends, family, neighbors, and colleagues to support UnCorkNJ by contacting your legislators.

A copy of the Senate press release appears below:

SWEENEY / STACK BILL TO ALLOW DIRECT WINE SHIPMENTS TO NJ CONSUMERS PASSES SENATE

TRENTON -- Legislation Senate President Stephen M. Sweeney and Senator Brian Stack sponsored to allow New Jersey consumers to receive direct shipments from wineries today passed the Senate.

The Senators said lifting the direct-shipping ban would not only be beneficial to consumers, but would also be a boon to the state's emerging wine industry, as many small wineries only have their products available for sale in a limited number of stores or on-site.

"Allowing direct shipments of wine to and from New Jersey will not only enhance consumer choice, but would provide essential inroads for our budding wine industry," said Sweeney, D-Gloucester, Cumberland and Salem. "With our wineries producing better and better wines and winning prestigious awards, we should be expanding, not limiting, access to New Jersey wines."

If enacted, New Jersey would join thirty-five other states that currently have direct-shipping laws on the books.

The bill, S766, would authorize the state Alcoholic Beverage Commission to issue direct-shipping licenses to holders of either a New Jersey plenary winery license with retail privileges or a New Jersey farm winery license. Out-of-state shippers also would be allowed to receive a shipping license, with the stipulation that they provide the Division of Taxation payment for any excise and sales taxes due and an annual report noting quantity and type of alcoholic beverages shipped to New Jersey consumers.

"New Jersey consumers should not have to be limited only to what's in stock at their local wine store, nor should they have to drive half-way across the state to get a quality New Jersey wine," said Stack, D-Hudson. "Likewise, out-of-state visitors who try New Jersey wines and want to purchase them shouldn't be shut out. It's time we give consumers and vintners the ability to deal directly with each other."

New Jersey is the sixth-largest wine producing state in the country. New Jersey wines also have won an increasing number of national and international awards.

The measure, which passed 29-5, now heads to the Assembly for further consideration.

2 comments:

nursemegg said...

I sent a form e-letter that I saw somewhere to my congress people (don't want to say men) and assembly people. Received a letter back from :
Assemblywoman Caroline Casagrande
12th Legislative District
35 West Main Street
Freehold, NJ 07728
732-866-1695
FAX 732-866-4262
pretty much stating that she would be voting AGAINST allowing NJ to receive wine shipments. Her reasoning is that NJ can't control who actually gets the liquor. As if my 16y/o can't purchase it locally. Geesh. I had a harder time getting wine delivered from the Wine Library then my kids would have walking into my local liquor store!

NJFoodies said...

Nursemegg: Thanks a million for taking the time to write, and have no fear on just one legislator. Hopefully this bill will get pushed through, and in the end, that will be all that matters. It'll be a win/win I think for both wine lovers who reside in NJ, as well as NJ wineries, and believe it or not retailers! Our fingers are crossed that our great state see's the light, and makes this happen! Thanks for stopping by, and thanks again for taking the few minutes to write in to your representatives! Cheers! -F. Scott & Zelda