The following post is taken from Wine Freedom Texas, a blog devoted to promoting Texans’ freedom in choosing the wines they want to drink. Texans, please call the numbers below and leave a message for our legislators asking them to support this bill. Its passage would be a monumental leap forward in freeing Texan wine lovers from the yoke of big business interest and its “ridiculously anti-competitive” hold over our state’s shipping laws, as the bill’s author, Dallas-area Republican state representative Matt Rinaldi, has called it it.
Texas law bans its citizens from receiving shipments of wine from out-of-state wine stores, internet wine retailers, wine clubs and wine auction houses. [Texas Legislature] H[ouse]B[ill] 2291 would remove this ban and create a free market in wine for Texans and giving its wine lovers access to hundreds of thousands of wine now unavailable to Texans.
STATUS OF BILL
A hearing on HB 2291 was held on May 1 in the House Licensing & Administrative Procedures Committee. In testimony by Texas consumers, the National Association of Wine Retailers and the bill sponsor, Matt Rinaldi, committee members heard how consumers could not find the wines they want, how the current anti-competitive and anti-consumer law impacts consumers, and how HB 2291 would not harm Texas package stores. By contrast, lobbyists for Texas wholesalers and package stores testified that they ought to be protected from competition and that the bill was a threat to minors’ safety.
The Committee members did not vote to pass on the legislation to the full house at the May 1 committee hearing. The future of HB 2291 could take three possible paths: Committee members vote to kill the bill in committee, take no vote and let it die or vote to move the bill to the floor for consideration.
CONSUMER ACTION NEEDED
Call Key Committee Members. Now is the moment when committee members need to hear from Texas consumers. Call the committee members below and respectfully tell them you support HB 2291 and that you are calling to urge them to vote it out of the Licensing committee.
Chairman John Kuempel: (512) 463-0602
Rep. Ryan Guillen: (512) 463-0416
Rep. John Frullo: (512) 463-0676
Rep. Charlie Geren: (512) 463-0610
Rep. Ana Hernandez: (512) 463-0614
Rep. Abel Herrero: (512) 463-0462
Rep. Chris Paddie: (512) 463-0556