By all appearances, Direct Shipping of Wine will not be passed this year. For reasons that will remain uncertain, Senator Jamie Raskin, the sponsor of the Senate Bill, killed his own legislation when acting to pass an amendment that would require a multi-state survery of the 35 states allowing for direct shipping to see how they have dealt with issues such as the underage drinking concerns. The Senate bill will almost certainly not pass while this study is pending.
The House Bill, HB1262, is in the Economic Matters Committee, after review by the Alcoholic Beverage work-group. It is anticipated that this will go up for vote tomorrow, or possibly delayed until Monday. The Committee's vote is pendant on the work-group's evaluation of the bill.
Delegate Warren Miller, as my representative, has truly impressed me in all of this. When he received my original e-mail about this legislation, he didn't pass it on to a staffer, but instead called me directly to answer my concerns. This past afternoon he sent me another e-mail inviting me to call him to discuss the current status of the Senate and House bills. When I called, he gave me a full run down of everything that had happened, and what the future course looked like. As I've said before, you won't agree with your representatives on everything, but the true goal is to be able to tell them your opinion and hear their response if they disagree.
No matter what happens on direct shipping, I feel like I was a part of the process. That's corny, and it's not as interesting as "I'm mad as hell," but it's the truth.