Wine Shipping Press Conference
3PM (be sure to leave time to get through security)
Wednesday, February 3rd
House Room 318 (Southern Maryland Delegation Room)
6 Bladen St.
Annapolis, MD 21401
Please RSVP at the following link:
May 2010 be our vintage!
Marylanders for Better Beer & Wine Laws
4315 Underwood Road
Baltimore, MD 21218
Tel: (443) 570-8102
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Maryland’s direct wine shipping bill secures a majority of sponsors in both House of Delegates and State Senate
Baltimore, Maryland – February 2, 2010
Marylanders for Better Beer & Wine Laws (MBBWL), a consumer advocacy group fighting for the passage of direct wine shipping legislation in Annapolis this Session, announced today that a press conference will be held on Wednesday, February 3rd at 3 PM in the Southern Maryland Delegation Room (318) of the House Office Building to announce that for the first time ever, the bill has secured a majority of sponsors in both the House of Delegates and State Senate. “With 37 states representing 80+% of the American population already enjoying this privilege, we think that it is time the Free State moves into the 21st century. Not only do our members and other Maryland consumers feel this way, but so do the legislators that represent them,” said MBBWL’s Executive Director, Adam Borden.
The bill would allow both wineries and retailers to ship up to 24 cases of wine to a Maryland resident per year and follows the protocols existing in other states for age verification and tax collection. There are roughly 6,500 wineries in the US. Only about 15% of these wineries can currently sell their product to Marylanders. Should the legislation become law, the estimated economic benefit to Maryland would be $1.5 million per fiscal year, largely from the collection of Maryland sales and excise taxes.
The bill’s lead sponsor in the House is Carolyn Krysiak (D-46), a veteran Baltimore City Delegate and member of the House Economic Matters Committee, where the bill will receive its hearing. “In all my years in politics, I have never seen a truer example of a grass roots consumer issue take hold to this degree,” said Del. Krysiak. The companion bill in the Senate is being introduced by Senators Jamie Raskin (D-20) from Montgomery County and Catherine Pugh (D-40) from Baltimore City. “Democrat, Republican, Independent, consumer, businessperson, winemaker–everyone who calls my office says the same thing. Let’s grow up and give the people of Maryland the same freedom of choice to purchase wine and have it shipped to them that hundreds of millions of Americans enjoy. Especially in this time of scarce public dollars, it is unconscionable to allow neighboring jurisdictions to capture the revenue from wine sales that is rightfully ours. 2010 is our year to make it happen,” said Raskin.
Despite the overwhelming support of House and Senate members, the Maryland State Farm Bureau and wineries, retailers and consumers throughout the State, the fate of this bill is still far from guaranteed. The legislation must still go through the two respective committees that hear all alcohol bills – the Senate Education, Health and Environmental Affairs Committee and the House Economic Matters Committee – before it can pass to the full House and Senate floors for a vote. “We are really excited to work with the House and Senate senior leadership to make the voters’ will a reality,” said Borden. “We hope that Marylanders voices will be heard by their legislators and 2010 will be our vintage.”
Released by: Marylanders for Better Beer & Wine Laws, MBBWL. Our mission is to represent a diverse group of Maryland constituents in advocating for improved alcohol laws in our state.
Contact: Jennifer Levy, Director of Legislative Affairs, Marylanders for Better Beer and Wine Laws