Coalition Announces New Support for Wine in Supermarkets
By Dave Lucas
Albany, NY – New Yorkers for Economic Growth lobbied in Albany today for passage of the Wine and Liquor Store Revitalization Act. Capital District Bureau Chief Dave Lucas reports.
The broad coalition of unions, wineries, and other small businesses came together to support legislation contained in Governor David Paterson's proposed budget that would reform prohibition era regulations, allowing liquor stores to sell items like tonic, crackers and cheese while permitting the sale of wine in grocery stores. Ruben Rodriguez owns a liquor store in New Rochelle... he believes it's time for laws to be changed. License fees from wine in supermarkets are expected to raise $300 million in the upcoming fiscal year for New York and expand marketing opportunities for New York's wineries and grape growers. Susan Hayes co-owner of Miles Wine Cellars, on Seneca Lake says New York's position among the top wine-making states is eroding - while the winery business stagnates. 35 other states currenly allow the sale of wine in grocery stores and of the top eight wine producing states, only New York does NOT allow wine to be sold in grocery stores. According to a recent Siena Poll- 6 in 10 New Yorkers - of all political and geographic stripes- support allowing wine sales in supermarkets. Opponents argue it would put many small liquor stores out of business and cost the state thousands of jobs.