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• Update: Where wine stands in the Legislature

19 Mar

ALBANY, NY — Now that the state’s proposed 2011-2012 budget inches closer to April 1, its constitutional deadline for passage — although it takes a strong memory to recall when that mandate last was met — it is clear that once again the anti’s carried the day when it comes to wine sales in grocery stores.

The last two years, then-Governor David Paterson included legislation in his budget proposal to increase state revenues by allowing sales of wines other than in licensed liquor stores. Both times the move was defeated by spirited lobbying.

This year, first-term Governor Andrew Cuomo addressed the matter by ignoring it. No proposal from him in his budget plan, and no success by pro forces to get it inserted in budget counter-proposals from either house of the state Legislature.

Barring a last-minute change, the status quo will remain as the various entities horsetrade to get to one budget. In addition, the New York Wine & Grape Foundation appears to be doomed since Cuomo zeroed out the trade organization in his budget. Foundation President Jim Trezise says without state financial backing, the organization will fold within several months.

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