iMedia Public Relations President on NJTV Tonight

Tonight on NJTV’s NJ Today newscast, I will be interviewed as part of a news segment devoted to legislation allowing for New Jersey wineries to direct-ship wine to consumers in and out of the state, as well as preserving the retail outlets operated by New Jersey wineries.

On Thursday in Trenton, the Assembly Budget Panel, by a vote of 7-0-4 advanced and released A-4436, out of committee bringing this piece of legislation to the floor of the Assembly for a full vote on Monday, January 9.

This is an issue that iMedia Public Relations and our sister agency, Capital Public Affairs have been driving for almost three years. We created www.UnCorkNJ.com, a grassroots community of wine enthusiasts in New Jersey to help lobby for legislation that would give New Jersey wineries the right to do what wineries in 38 other states currently can, directly ship wine to the homes of consumers within and out-of-state. The proposed legislation also allows small out-of-state wineries that produce 250,000 gallons of wine and under each year to ship directly to New Jersey consumers.

A-4436, sponsored by Assemblyman John Burzichelli, Deputy Speaker John Wisniewski and Assemblywoman Celeste Riley, is a vital piece of legislation that ensures the future of the New Jersey wine industry, bringing New Jersey wine to a national market of 38 other states that allow direct shipping, while also preserving farmland and creating jobs in New Jersey.

This issue has been strongly endorsed by editorials in eight leading newspapers in the state. You can access each editorial by clicking here. Newspapers that have published editorials in favor of the legislation are:

Burlington County Times
Courier Post
Express Times
Gloucester County Times
Newark Star Ledger
Philadelphia Inquirer
Press of Atlantic City
Trenton Times

 
A year ago, a Federal Court ruling effectively ruled that New Jersey wineries were operating in an unconstitutional manner by not allowing out-of-state wineries to operate retail outlets and tasting rooms in the state. The Federal Judge extended her deadline for New Jersey to correct the situation to March 21, 2012. Failure to act on this could mean the closure of retail outlets and tasting rooms in New Jersey which would effectively close many of the state’s wineries. Over a dozen new wineries in New Jersey are frozen from being licensed until this matter is resolved.

A-4436 remedies that situation by allowing out-of-state wineries to open retail outlets in New Jersey. Senator Sweeney sponsored S-3172, which the Senate passed with bi-partisan support, 23-13 in December. This bill, and its accompanying piece of legislation in the Assembly, rectify the situation and protect the retail operations of NJ wineries, while allowing them to ship wine directly to consumers.

Those of you in New Jersey that are in favor of giving New Jersey wineries the chance to grow their industry can show their support by contacting their Assembly representatives and urging them to pass this bill on Monday. You can do it directly through http://www.uncorknj.com.

Tom Cosentino

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One Response to “iMedia Public Relations President on NJTV Tonight”

  1. Alonso Pelczar Says:

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