Update May 23, 2013: Email from TWGGA said:
SB 451 was stopped in the Senate Business and Commerce Committee and its companion bill HB 2537, that was amended by the Texas Senate Business and Commerce Committee, was stopped on the senate floor.
While the Texas Wine and Grape Growers Association, the Texas Package Store Association, the Texas House of Representatives and a simple majority of the Texas Senate were committed to passing a bill that required wineries to make wine, a compromise could not be reached with other members of the alcoholic beverage industry.
HB 2537 passed out of the Senate Business and Commerce Committee on Tuesday, May 14 as substituted by Senator John Carona. As suspected, the substitute included language requiring wineries to produce or bottle 51% of the wine they ship. It also requires wineries to maintain complete records of each sale and delivery of wine shipped for at least five years from the date of the sale.
As previously reported, the TWGGA Board of Directors has visited and revisited the language requiring a winery to produce or bottle 51% of the wine they ship. In keeping with the Board consensus, President Ron Yates testified against the committee substitute at the hearing on Tuesday on behalf of TWGGA. The reasons for the Board’s and other wineries opposition to the committee substitute are:
- It protects the distribution tier rather than solving a public health safety and welfare issue for the citizens of Texas.
- It harms existing businesses that are operating within the law.
- It takes away winery operating rights when no public health, safety or welfare issue exists. This is a bad precedent.
- It hinders revenue growth for Texas wineries.
- It places undue reporting burdens on Texas wineries.
Click here to download the bill as it was substituted and passed out of committee.
Please contact your state senator’s capitol office immediately, express your concern over this bill and ask them to vote not to suspend the three day constitutional rule for HB 2537. To find out who your state senator is please click the following link: http://www.fyi.legis.state.tx.us/Home.aspx
Please also contact the Lieutenant Governor’s office at 512-463-0001 about your concern for this bill.
It is very easy to make BOTH phone calls and they will relay your concern to your Senator or the Lieutenant Governor.
If the bill goes through, some legitimate wineries in Texas will be unable to ship wines to their customers.
Please call today.