Legislative Memo



A.9207a (Tokasz) / S.5577a (Johnson)



Agreements between brewers and beer wholesalers



June 25, 2001


The Business Council of New York State, Inc. opposes this legislation for two reasons: (1) we object to the way this law regulates business disputes by means of legislation without recourse to all parties and (2) the noninclusive process by which one aspect of the industry is being regulated without the others input (wholesalers without brewers).

We believe the parties key to this industry should be permitted to form a consensus solution. In 1996, when section 55-c of the alcoholic beverage control law (generally known as the beer franchise law) was first passed, both the brewers and wholesalers worked together to develop legislation which was acceptable to both parties, and therefore, resulted in a fair and equitable law. However, this previous methodology was not employed with A.9207a/S.5577a. Brewers were omitted from all of the discussions related to the proposed restructuring of the beer franchise law. This law, which would affect them directly, did not take into account any of their considerations.

The law as drafted in 1996, was fair and adequate, and took into account both parties concerns and properly addressed both sides. We see no reason to re-open the law without hearing both sides. For these reasons, The Business Council respectfully opposes A.9207a/S.5577a and strongly urges its defeat.