We are pleased that our two priorities bills WWI helped craft, introduce, and are pushing have already been voted out of their committees of origin. These bills are HB 1416/SB 5394, our social media/website use modernization bill, and HB 1563 adding field trip and 18-20 year old internships in winery production areas allowances to the current Class 15 permit our higher educational viticulture and enology programs utilize now (commonly known as the “taste and spit” permit).
HB 1416/SB 5394: Concerning liquor licensees’ use of social media and website to promote events
HB 1563: Concerning liquor-related privileges of students enrolled in certain degree programs
We are now working on getting HB 1416 out of House, so the House can vote on the bills moving through the legislative process. SB 5394 and HB 1563 already moved out of their respective Rules committees, and we are optimistic the bills will be voted on by the full Senate and House within the next week or two.
Beyond these bills, there are a myriad of other bills introduced this session that either directly or indirectly impact our industry. For example, we are helping guide a bill through that puts in statute language allowing wineries to recork wine purchased onsite so a customer can take it home. This is a common practice in wineries now, but the bill exists because of an enforcement issue and a general sense that it’s better to have this important privilege spelled out within our domestic winery license.
Overall, the themes of this legislative session revolve around labor regulations, environmental impacts, and most importantly whether Senate and House leadership have the votes and the public support to raise taxes, create new taxes/fees, and what industries will be impacted. Alcohol taxes are often an “easy” target when these conversations heat up in Olympia, so we continue to be on high alert throughout the session.
As always, we will keep all of our members updated on this work!