A bill was introduced in Albany yesterday that would allow New York grocery stores to sell wine, just as it's sold in many other states, reports The Wall Street Journal.
The bill, which has bipartisan support in both the Assembly and Senate, has already been met with stiff opposition from liquor store owners across the state who fear the measure could put them out of business.
The state's supermarkets claim the new wine sales would create thousands of jobs and stimulate the economy.
Supermarket owners said allowing them to sell wine would boost state tax revenue and create jobs. Proponents said a February analysis conducted by Archstone Consulting said the change in the Prohibition-era law would generate $346.7 million in new revenue in the first year through franchise and license fees, excise taxes and sales taxes. It's expected to generate up to $71 million in annual revenue in subsequent years.
Previous efforts to get wine on grocery store shelves have failed, largely due to the liquor store lobby.
And although lawmakers have attempted to appease liquor store owners, offering them, among other things, the opportunity to own more than one store, to sell products directly to restaurants and bars and to sell a greater variety of products, it may not be enough.
The bill will likely reach the floor for a vote soon as the legislative session is scheduled to end in four weeks.