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Assembly Panel Passes Houghtaling Measure to Amend or Withdraw Regulations for Wineries to Host Events

Aiming to change or eliminate cumbersome regulations for wineries on preserved farmland seeking to host special events, the Assembly Agriculture and Natural Resources Committee on Monday approved a measure (ACR-117) to determine the rules adopted by the State Agriculture Development Committee (SADC) were not consistent with Legislature’s intent for the special events pilot program.

If enacted, the SADC will have 30 days to amend or withdraw the rules, or the Legislature may pass another concurrent resolution to exercise its authority under the State Constitution to invalidate the rules in whole or part.

Assemblyman Eric Houghtaling (D-Monmouth), the measure’s sponsor, released the following statement:

“In 2014, the Winery Special Events on Preserved Farmland Act changed the way some wineries in the State do business by allowing them to host events like weddings and music festivals. The program has benefited many wineries across New Jersey, but one critique we’ve heard is that the reporting and documentation requirements are overly inconvenient and tedious. The last thing we want to do is to place more burdens on small businesses. This was not the Legislature’s intent, and it should be corrected.”