By Ashley Hupfl
ALBANY U.S. Sen. Chuck Schumer will announce Wednesday a proposal to end restrictions on shipping beer, wine, and spirits through the United States Postal Service.
The legislation that bars the postal service from shipping beer, wine, and spirits dates back to prohibition. Schumer will argue is no longer needed and is hurting the state's economy.
By ending the law, new shipping rates would be imposed that would help the struggling postal service. It would also benefit businesses, such as upstate wineries and breweries, and create pricing competition with private shipping companies, Schumer will argue.
The end of the law would generate an estimated $225 million of increased annual revenue and benefit the 12,090 postal-service jobs in upstate New York.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo has sought to boost the state's wine and alcohol sector. New York has more than 450 wineries, breweries, distilleries, and cideries.
The industry accounts for more than $22 billion in annual total economic impact each year, Cuomo has said. New York ranks third in the nation in wine and grape production and has the second most distilleries. It has three of the top 20 brewers in the country: North American Breweries in Rochester; Matt Brewing Co. in Utica and Brooklyn Brewery in New York City.