Monday, March 30, 2009

Wine Could Still Ferment

While it is clear that, at least as it currently stands, wine is not included in the budget resolution, there is still a possibility that it will be resurrected since the state's revenue continues to free fall. As Newsday points out: "Supporters of the proposal said the decision will cost New Yorkers millions of dollars in added revenue that would have been generated by licensing and other fees. "The money that this could generate is the equivalent of retaining 4,000 state employees that now could be laid off," said David Vermillion, spokesman for a coalition supporting the change."

And as the red ink continues to mount, it is likely that the legislature will have to return in June to make adjustments to make up for the growing deficit; and by that point the $140 million of wine fees is going to get better looking by the hour. As Daily Politics points out: "The governor wouldn't rule out the possibility that this budget will have to be revisited as the state's fiscal outlook worsens - and he expects revenues to drop by at least another $2 billion to $3 billion. But he also said that has been "anticipated" in the financial plan."

Right, but Paterson's no Carly Simon; and the governor's touting of anticipation falls far short in our view-although her song's lyrics have a curious resonance for our governor and his disastrous budget: "

We can never know about the days to come
But we think about them anyway, yay
And I wonder if I'm really with you now
Or just chasin' after some finer day

Anticipation, anticipation
Is makin' me late
Is keepin' me waitin'

So, as the budget gap grows-and more stimulus is needed-we may yet recapture the Days of Wine and Roses; unless Speaker Silver remains adamant in his protection of the 80 year old state sponsored monopoly. Soon, we could be starting to hear Yogi Berra's old refrain: "It's never over, till it's over."