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HR 5034 Bill is Still Alive

HR 5034, a US bill, is sponsored by well over 100 legislators. The bill first became known last spring and we have been following its progress or lack of in the House. At first it was like a powerful steamroller but thankfully enough wineries and wine enthusiasts became aware of its potentially threatening aspects to shipping wine and other alcoholic beverages.

Simply put, if passed HR 5034 would allow each state to legislate the shipping of any alcohol and there would be no recourse to the federal government. Think about who this would benefit? Certainly not the wineries many of which are dependent upon Internet sales and thus must ship wine.

Unfortunately the proponents of HR 5034 did a fairly good job of getting support for HR 5034 from many legislators without much notice to those who would be adversely affected by the passage of such a law.

However over the months more wineries and wine enthusiasts have caught on to what the bill would do in terms of allowing eventually for the possibility of no wine shipping allowed. To see smaller examples of what this would do, look at the three states where it is a felony to ship wine interstate and intrastate.

HR 5034 passage seems to have slowed down, like a bear in winter, but it could quickly awaken and be passed. Wineries and wine enthusiasts need to understand how passage of this bill will affect them and make sure it’s defeated. Unfortunately some wineries and wine lovers are not aware of the bill or believe it would ever pass. While visiting wineries in Michigan last week, we mentioned HR 5034 to a couple of the wineries. One winemaker and owner knew nothing about it while another was well versed on the issue.

HR 5034 will not help consumers or wineries but it’s still lying in the night like a thief. If it doesn’t pass this year, I believe the proponents of the bill will try again next year.

It reminds me of the Prohibition era when winemakers said that Prohibition would never pass because it was so outrageous and thus they did not protest against it.

Recently Tom Wark wrote an excellent blog about HR 5034. Check it out on Fermentation.

Cheers, Kathy

One Comment

  1. Kathy
    Posted September 21, 2010 at 8:32 am | Permalink

    Good recent article about this bill is in the Richmond Times-Dispatch, “Booze bill: states’ rights or distributors’ might?” Can you guess how much money is being contributed to politicians’ campaigns? Is there any indication that money influences votes? Read the article at http://www2.timesdispatch.com/lifestyles/2010/sep/18/i-booz0810-ar-509590/.

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