Arkansas legislator drops proposed California wine ban: We made a point

Mar 30, 2015 6:37 PM by News Staff

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) - A proposal to prohibit the import of California wine has withered after an Arkansas lawmaker he won't continue to seek retribution over egg regulations.

Republican Rep. Dan Douglas of Bentonville told House members to enjoy California wine while they can on Friday, but told the Associated Press on Monday morning that he wouldn't run the bill before the Senate State Agencies and Governmental Affairs Committee.

He said the measure has served its purpose as an anti-regulation message to West Coast lawmakers.

"We hate to use the legislative process for that, but sometimes you've got to send a message," Douglas said.
The bill would have prohibited the import of wine from any state that placed a "substantial burden" on the Arkansas agriculture industry, as determined by Secretary of the Arkansas Agriculture Department.

Douglas drafted the bill in protest to a 2008 voter-approved California law banning the sale of eggs from chickens kept in cages too small for the animals to turn around. The California Legislature in 2010 extended those requirements to all eggs sold in the state, banning eggs from states that don't have the standards - including Arkansas.

The director of Arkansas' Alcoholic Beverage Control Division would have been able to sanction or revoke a license of a business that broke the law.

Douglas previously said California cannot force its standards on other states, and fears its regulations may extend to cattle farms or air quality rules.

Even though Douglas said he never meant for the bill to become law, the House voted 57-19 Thursday to support it. Douglas said he since has talked to about four California legislators who support his efforts and want to ease the egg regulations.

"That bill doesn't need to be passed into law," Douglas said. "We made a point with the state of California."

Copyright 2015 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.


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