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Free The Grapes Update



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Dear Wine Lovers,
This Friday, please join us by toasting the 9th anniversary of the U.S. Supreme Court ruling inGranholm v. Heald (May 16, 2005). While we still have a lot of work to do, the ruling was a key milestone in helping to extend and expand consumer choice in wine. We’ll have a Facebook post this Friday commemorating the ruling.

Massachusetts: Contact your Senator today!

House Bill 294, a favorable direct shipping bill, has been languishing in committee since it received a hearing last November.

But on April 30, the House approved a budget that includes provisions for limited, regulated winery-to-consumer direct shipping. This is a major step forward. Industry representatives report that the Senate will work on its budget very soon. If the Senate includes an amendment to the budget with the same or similar provisions, then we are another step closer to winery direct shipping in Massachusetts. The Governor has already indicated his support for regulated winery shipping.

ACTION: Massachusetts Wine Lovers, please take two minutes to visit our website and personalize a message that will be sent automatically to your Senator.

Thanks to all our friends in the Commonwealth who responded so quickly to our May 8 email, and who have sent letters to their Senators!

Local press coverage of this issue has been overall positive in MA – see the Boston Globe editorial below. But we are facing an onslaught by the influential wholesalers, who operate behind the package store association.

Pennsylvania: Bills Still Alive
As previously reported, there are several wine direct shipping bills in play in the Keystone State. Some of the language appears in a large “modernization” bill, and there are several stand-alone bills as well. Wine industry representatives continue to work closely with PA legislators to pass a wine shipping law that expands choice for wine lovers while avoiding onerous taxes.

ACTION: If you live in the Keystone state, please click here to send a letter to your representatives in support of legal, regulated direct shipping.

South Dakota: Favorable Bill Killed in Committee
Senate Bill 114, which was voted successfully out of the Senate on February 24, was killed in the House on March 5. There was intense opposition to the bill by in-state beer wholesalers, plus the South Dakota Licensed Beverage Dealers. We’ve posted a few more details on our website here.

Delaware: Favorable Bill Alive in Committee
House Bill 60 was voted out of the House Economic Development, Banking, Insurance, and Commerce Committee early this year. The bill would allow Delaware residents to have up to 3 cases of wine shipped to them annually. This is the sixth year that Representative Hudson has introduced direct wine shipping legislation and the first time it has passed out of committee.

ACTION: Delaware wine lovers can contact their representatives in support of HB 60 here.

As always, you can stay up to date on developments in Massachusetts and elsewhere by following us on Facebook.

Free the Grapes!

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