Senate Bill 2989, which will make illegal shipping of wine into Illinois a felony charge, was signed into law last week. The law is designed to restrict out of state retailers who are bootlegging alcohol into the state. While the bill will also increase licensing fees for parties of all 3 tiers of the industry, there are those that say the new regulation will benefit Illinois consumers, businesses, and the state itself. Karin Lijana Matura, an executive director of Wine and Spirits Distributors of Illinois, announced that the bill will ultimately protect consumers by “promoting compliance with state law. It also gives the Illinois Liquor Control Commission the resources it needs to prevent out-of-state suppliers from taking advantage of a loophole that allowed them to direct ship wine into Illinois without paying taxes.” Even as some proponents proclaim it will bring in more revenue to Illinois, there are opponents that have their doubts. For example, a petition against the bill received over 1,500 signatures. In addition, Tom Wark, executive director for the National Association of Wine Retailers, believed that proponents of the law have it wrong and the state will actually be leaving “millions of dollars” in taxes and licensing fees on the table. Regardless, Senate Bill 2989 has been signed into law with an aim to limit illegal transportation and shipping of wine into Illinois.
Source: Chicago Tribune