The introduction of LB 230 in Nebraska was the first bill introduced in a few years that would have ended retailer-to-consumer wine shipping. The National Association of Wine Retailers played a key part in helping roll back the Legislation.
Ostensibly LB 230 was introduced by Senator Russ Karpicek as a means of fixing language in the states direct shipping law that allowed “persons who sells and ships alcoholic liquor from another state directly to a consumer in this state.” The intent was to remove the word “persons” and only allow “manufacturers” to ship wine. Had this goal been accomplished wine retailers that had been shipping to Nebraska wine lovers for years would lose their right to continue to do so.
NAWR reached out to members of the General Affairs committee and explained the impact of the bill’s passage:
1. Nebraskans would no longer have access to direct shipped wines from out of state retailers
2. Nebraskans would no longer have access to any direct shipped imported wines that only retailers ship
3. Though no problems had been reported, retailers would be shut out of the marketplace
4. Allowing in-state retailers to ship, but no prohibiting out-of-state retailers to continue to ship would create a violation of the Constitution’s Commerce Clause
After two hearings, two submissions of written testimony by NAWR and three amendments, the bill was reworked to continue to allow out-of-state wine retailers to ship to Nebraskans, preserving an important resource for Nebraska wine lovers.
At this writing, LB 230 is anticipated to move out of the General Affairs Committee and onto the floor of the Legislature where it is expected to pass.