Cuomo budget ignores wine-in-markets idea

Gov. Andrew Cuomo
ALBANY, NY -- Don’t go looking for renewed debate anytime soon on the topic of selling wine in New York State supermarkets.

The proposed 2011-2012 budget released on Tuesday by Gov. Andrew Cuomo did not include a proposal on the highly controversial idea even though he emphasized his desire to cut spending and increase state income.

Unless the State Legislature introduces the idea when it begins work on the budget, an unlikely occurence given the "anti" lobby’s deep pockets and success in derailing the idea when former Gov. David Paterson introduced it last year.

Sample reactions:

New Yorkers for Economic Growth and Open Markets:

"(We) called on the Legislature today to include a proposal to reform Prohibition era liquor laws and allow consumers to buy wine in grocery stores and allow liquor stores to sell new types of products. The budget proposal would generate hundreds of millions in revenue for the state by charging licensing fees to grocery stores to sell wine. By opening new retail outlets for wine sales, the proposal will provide New York wineries and grape growers more places to sell their wine, consumers greater choice and convenience and lower prices, liquor stores more products to sell, and the state hundreds of millions in franchising fees to avoid devastating cuts."

Last Store on Main Street, a coalition of liquor store owners and others:

"By rejecting wine in grocery stores, Governor Cuomo has closed the book on a bad idea that would have cost thousands of private-sector jobs, hurt New York wineries and increased underage drinking. Given that the State Legislature also rejected this job-killing idea in two consecutive sessions, Governor Cuomo’s decision correctly recognizes that it’s time to focus on smart ideas that can lift the entire New York wine industry."

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1 comment:

Monex said...

Yes, it's on Aisle 312 next to the Weber Twin-Propane Tank Stainless Steel Mega Wild-Game Grill.

All across New York State legislators and the wineries and wine shop owners they represent are in a heated debate. Should New York grocery stores be allowed to sell wine or should it remain the sole domain of specialty wine shops? It's frankly a bit of a morass where no one quite knows what effects will follow should the gates fly open and the Costcos and the Gristedes be free to set the juice loose next to the WonderBread and Cap'n Crunch.

The essential debate: Will selling wines in grocery stores bring New York State wines to a broader audience or will they be lost in the flood of mass-produced wines guaranteed to make a buck for the stores? Will the state really make money on this or will it simply be a one-time shot in the arm that later leaves the state scrounging for more without a mere monetary crack rock in sight to satiate its coffers? And what about the local wineshop?