For Immediate Release December 28, 2016

Michigan Governor Urged to Veto Flawed Wine Shipping Bill

The National Association of Wine Retailers is urging Governor Rick Snyder to veto a poorly written bill that in its current form has already been ruled unconstitutional in 2008 by a Michigan Federal Court. The bill, SB 1088 discriminates against interstate shipment of wine, only allowing Michigan consumers to have wine shipped from in-state wine store. The Governor as well as lawmakers have already been told that if signed into law, another costly lawsuit would ensue.

Currently, Michigan law allows wine retailers in Michigan and other states to deliver wine to Michigan consumers only using their own trucks. SB 1088 would only allow in-state retailers to use delivery companies like FedEX and UPS to deliver wine, while barring consumers from taking similar shipments of wine from out-of-state retailers.

“The bill is extraordinarily anti-consumer and anti-free trade,” said Tom Wark, executive director of the NAWR. “Barring Michigan consumers from receiving shipments from out-of-state retailers is nothing more than a protectionist gift to the state’s wholesalers who pushed the bill in order to gain protection from free trade competition.”

An identical protectionist Michigan law barring shipments from out-of-state retailers was ruled unconstitutional by a Michigan Federal Court in 2008. In Siesta Village Market LLC v. Granholm Judge Denise Page Hood, now a Chief Justice of the Michigan Federal District Court, noted in her ruling that the law violated the Constitution and that the State of Michigan showed no evidence that shipments from out-of-state wine retailers could not be regulated in the same way shipments from out-of-state wineries are regulated.

The NAWR urged lawmakers to pass a law that allowed Michigan consumers to purchase and have wine shipped to them from both in-state and out-of-state retailers. Such a law would avoid another lawsuit, provide significant tax revenue to the state and give consumers access to all wines in the American marketplace, rather than only those supplied by the Michigan wholesalers who pushed SB 1088 and are protected by the bill. Lawmakers chose protectionism over consumers.

“SB 1088 is a poorly written bill that deserves to be vetoed if only because it will cost the state millions of dollars to defend in court,” said Wark. “Moreover, Michigan’s consumers deserve real access to the free market in wine and this is why the NAWR is strongly urging Governor Snyder to veto SB 1088.”

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Contact:
Tom Wark, Executive Director
National Association of Wine Retailers
707-266-1449 • tom@nawr.org