Fate uncertain for wine sales bills

april 20,2011

By Steve Terrell The New Mexican

SANTA FE – The New Mexico Legislature last month passed two bills designed to help the state wine industry. But opposition from an Artesia oil company – which was a major contributor to Gov. Susana Martinez’s campaign – has some supporters wondering whether the governor will sign the bills into law
Senate Bill 445, sponsored by state Sen. Phil Griego, D-San Jose, and House Bill 487, sponsored by Rep. Ken Martinez, D-Grants, would allow wineries in the state to ship directly to New Mexico residents of legal age. The legislation also would allow any out-of-state winery willing to pay an annual $50 fee to ship wine to New Mexicans.
Supporters of the bills fear that because of a U.S. Supreme Court decision, New Mexico’s current laws on shipping wine could be struck down and make it illegal for wineries to ship directly to people anywhere.
A fiscal impact report on Griego’s bill notes that direct wine shipments in New Mexico aren’t regulated but are occurring in New Mexico. “The state is not receiving any tax revenues on these sales,” the report by the Legislative Council Service says. “Moreover, the state has no way of tracking businesses that are shipping wine illegally to the state, and it has no mechanism for dealing with dispute or taxation issues.”
Websites of several area wineries show that consumers can buy wine via the Internet. However, sales to residents in some states aren’t allowed. States such as Utah, Kentucky and Alabama forbid direct sales from wineries in other states.
Some individual wineries choose not to sell to residents of other states. Richard Reinders, owner of Estrella del Norte Vineyard in Nambe, said he doesn’t sell to North Dakota residents because that state requires out-of-state wineries to file quarterly reports.
The bills passed the New Mexico Legislature by large, bipartisan margins. But both Griego and a lobbyist for the wineries said this week that the Mack Energy Corp., an Artesia oil company, has been lobbying against the legislation.
Dan Weaks, a lobbyist for the New Mexico Wine Growers Association and The Wine Institute, told the New Mexican that some Mack executives were concerned that the bills would hinder sales from wineries in other states – something which both Weaks and Griego deny would happen.
Why would an oil company be concerned about legislation dealing with wineries? “Apparently (Mack employees) have some kind of a wine club and they were concerned that the bills would stop them from getting their wine from out-of-state wineries,” Weaks said. “That’s not what (the bills) do.”
Dan Girand, who is in charge of Mack Energy’s legislative and regulatory affairs, declined to comment Monday.
The governor has until Friday to act on bills passed during the 2011 legislative session, which adjourned last month.
Contact Steve Terrell at (505) 986-3037 or sterrell@sfnewmexican.com.

Source: http://www.lcsun-news.com/las_cruces-news/ci_17782203

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Visitors to Clark Philippines and Angeles City no longer suffer from lack of choices for places to eat out or wine and dine. Clark Philippines reviewed over 50 establishments and came up with three top choices in guide to best restaurant in Clark Freeport

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Getting to this fine dining restaurant of Angeles City Clark Freeport Zone Pampanga Philippines
How to get to this fine-dining restaurant in Clark Philippines? Once you get to Clark Freeport, go straight until you hit Mimosa. After you enter Mimosa, stay on the left on Mimosa Drive, go past the Holiday Inn and Yats Restaurant (green top, independent 1-storey structure) is on your left. Just past the Yats Restaurant is the London Pub.

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