February 18th, 2008
With all the support SB59 received, it seemed hopeful that another reciprocal state would move from yellow to blue. The new bill would have replaced the existing reciprocal wine shipping law with a permit system for both wineries and retailers. Regrettably, it did not reach the New Mexico House floor before the session ended last Friday. As reported by Free The Grapes, SB59 received favorable testimony from The New Mexico Restaurant Association, New Mexico winemakers, and the New Mexico Retailers Association, and was endorsed by New Mexico Wine Growers Association. The bill went through most of the legislative process, encouraging the hopeful inception all the more; it passed the Senate Finance Committee on February 8th and was passed by the Senate on February 9th, but there was not enough time left for it to be passed by the House.
The bill would have allowed in- and out-of-state wineries and retailers to apply for a “Direct Wine Shipment Permit,” for a fee, with some of the regular limitations. New Mexico would have been the 11th out of 13 states to change from a reciprocal status since the Granholm decision outlawed discriminatory practices for out-of-stater’s in 2005. Not all changes since Granholm have been 100% non-discriminatory. As many will tell you (see this SWRA blog post for some background info), retailers and wineries are not always treated the same, but this bill would have been good for both.