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That California story continued and, probably, dead

24 May 2002 by JR

I heard a rumour that the proposed bill that would restrict distribution of wines and spirits within California to a single distributor (see [link]) had definitely been abandoned. I asked Mannie Berk of the Rare Wine Company who has been leading the charge against it whether this were true and this is his reply:

'I'd like to say it's resolved, but it isn't quite.

The bill was scheduled to be heard in the Appropriations Committee yesterday [Wednesday 15 May]. Monday afternoon AB1922 was pulled from the docket. That would leave just one more week for it to be heard in Appropriations before it would be officially dead for this year. However, the sponsors could get around that by getting a "rule waiver". On Monday, the sponsors offered to reduce the scope of the bill to Champagne only, a proposal that was rejected. Yesterday, there were signs from the sponsor's office that they might still go ahead with the bill amended for Champagne only, but it's unlikely they'd do so.

The media has been pounding away at this bill for the past three weeks, public sentiment is against it and the measure seems to have lost most of its support in the legislature. There's also a small chance that the proposal could come back later in this legislative session (slipped into another bill), so the California Fine Wine Alliance and the Family Winemakers of California, the two main allies fighting AB1922, will have to remain vigilant.'

Tags:  california
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