Andrzejczak, Taliaferro, Houghtaling, Mazzeo, Burzichelli, Holley, Freiman, Barclay & Gusciora Bills Advance During Special Hearing in Cape May County

(MIDDLE TOWNSHIP) – Eight Assembly Democratic measures designed to help New Jersey’s burgeoning winery industry create jobs and economic development was advanced Thursday by the Assembly Agriculture and Natural Resources Committee during a special meeting at the Jessie Creek Winery.
The bills are sponsored by Assembly Democrats Bob Andrzejczak, Eric Houghtaling, Vince Mazzeo, John Burzichelli, Jamel Holley, Roy Freiman Adam Taliaferro, Arthur Barclay and Reed Gusciora.
“The economic and job potential of wine vineyards have been underestimated in this state for far too long,” said Andrzejczak (D-Cape May/Cumberland/Atlantic), who chairs the Agriculture panel. “The legislation we considered this afternoon will help to encourage these businesses to grow and keep New Jersey competitive nationally in the wine industry. We’re headed in a direction that is good for local wineries.”
“These commons sense measures are about wineries and vineyards and helping them stay competitive in a tough industry, but they’re about more than just those benefits,” said Taliaferro (D-Gloucester/Salem/Cumberland). “This is also about creating jobs and economic development in the agricultural industry and all the businesses that rely on agriculture for success.”
“New Jersey boasts many wonderful wineries that contribute to the economy, and help promote the state’s agricultural industry,” said Houghtaling. (D-Monmouth). “Ensuring their success benefits the state and our agricultural communities.”
“I am proud to be a sponsor of these bills, which I think will be tremendous for our state’s economy,” said Mazzeo (D-Atlantic). “There is so much potential for New Jersey to become the premier winemaking state in the country, and these bills will help us accomplish this goal.”
“We should be doing everything we can to strengthen New Jersey’s winery industry and ensure its long-term success,” said Burzichelli (D-Gloucester/Salem/Cumberland). “This is all about jobs and economic development, not just for our wineries, but for all the businesses that thrive when we have a strong tourism industry.”
“Wineries are economically important in New Jersey,” said Holley (D-Union). “They provide jobs, attract tourism and increase revenue by exporting their products – all aiding in greatly helping our state to flourish. For these reasons, we should be providing assistance to this industry whenever possible.”
“New Jersey is among the top 10 largest wine producing states in the country, generating millions of dollars a year for our economy,” said Freiman (D-Somerset/Mercer/Middlesex/Hunterdon). “The opportunity to create jobs, to strengthen the economy and to build on this success by making it easier to promote our state’s grape and wine-making industry is right before us. With these bills, we take the first step.”
“We must support the winery industry if we’re to build a stronger economy throughout our state,” said Barclay (D-Camden/Gloucester). “This means jobs and economic development, and more jobs and economic development.”
“It is time to support and champion New Jersey’s hardworking winemakers,” said Gusciora (D-Mercer/Hunterdon). “These bills will help our state’s winemakers thrive in the way we all know is possible.”
The bills advanced by the committee:
· A-1046 (Houghtaling/Andrzejczak/Mazzeo/Taliaferro) – Requires EDA, in consultation with Department of Agriculture, to establish loan program for certain vineyard and winery capital expenses.
· A-1054 (Houghtaling/Andrzejczak/Taliaferro) – Clarifies certain responsibilities of licensed wineries and retail salesrooms.
· A-1205 (Barclay/Gusciora) – Revises acreage requirement for plenary winery licenses.
· A-1512 (Burzichelli/Holley) – Permits wineries to operate salesrooms in certain municipalities with restrictions on the sale of alcoholic beverages
· A-3121 (Burzichelli) – Permits students over 18 years of age to taste wine or malt alcoholic beverage for educational purposes while enrolled in authorized enology or brewing training program.
· A-3344 (Taliaferro) – Exempts certain plenary winery licensees from filing requirements imposed on retail sellers of litter-generating products.
· A-3643 (Andrzejczak/Freiman) – Creates viticulture trail tourist directional signs.
· A-3921 (Mazzeo) – Authorizes annual issuance of permit to sell alcoholic beverages at seasonal farm market.