Proposed Bill Would Allow Grocery Stores in New York State to Sell Wine
A controversial issue in New York State has once again come to the forefront, as two state lawmakers have sponsored a new bill right before the end of state Legislation. Some say while the new bill could increase customer convenience, it could also devastate many local businesses across the state.
The Post Standard says that two state politicians are pushing for wine to be sold in grocery stores, undoing a ban that goes all the way back to the end of Prohibition.
Wine to be Sold in Grocery Stores in New York State?
The Post Standard says that Assemblywoman Pam Hunter from Syracuse, and Senator Liz Krueger of Manhattan have sponsored a bill that would allow for the sale of wine in grocery stores in New York state. The lawmakers point to "consumer choice and convenience" as their reasoning for the measure.
This is not the first time a bill such as this has been introduced. The last attempt was in 2010, according to the Post.
The new bill though would not allow hard spirits to be sold in grocery stores, and would only allow for the sale of wine in stores where at least 65% of sales come from food. The Post says the new bill would also only allow for the sale of wine in businesses with at least 5,000 square feet of space.
This could mean both bigger businesses like Target would not be allowed to sell wine, as well as smaller convenience stores and gas stations.
The issue has split opinions. While many within in the state's over 300 wineries seem divided, the majority of the bigger wine and liquor distributors are adamantly against it. the Post Standard also reports that if passed, at least half the state's 3,800 or so independently owned wine and liquor stores in the state could go out of business.
The sponsors of the bill point to a Siena College poll that says that 76% of New Yorkers polled support wine sales in grocery stores. The bill estimates nearly two thousand new full-service grocery wine licenses could be created.
According to the Olean Times Herald, 40 states currently allow the sale of wine in grocery stores.