ALBANY, N.Y. — Although the wine-at-grocery proposal was dropped from the New York state budget, supporters of the measure “aren’t folding up our tents just yet,” Jim Roger, president of the Food Industry Alliance of New York State, told SN.
That’s because there is still a chance that the state will find itself with a budget deficit later this year. “If that happens they’re going to have to go back and plug those gaps,” he said. “This measure would help raise money [in the form of franchise fees] through no new taxes.”
During the months leading up to yesterday's budget deadline, retailers including Wegmans and Price Chopper solicited consumer support for the measure through their websites and by other means. Eighty-thousand postcards expressing shopper support for the proposal were collected at retail locations and nearly 20,000 emails expressing a similar sentiment were sent to state representatives. Retailers also let shoppers know how to contact their representative via telephone.
“Toward the end, calls were six to one in favor of grocery stores,” said Rogers. “We thought the tide had turned, but then there was a very secret conversation, the speaker of the assembly was not enthused at the prospect of wine at grocery, and the governor acquiesced.”
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