AUGUSTA – The Maine State Liquor Commission has rejected a move by Governor LePage to remove tiny liquor bottles commonly known as *nips* from store shelves.
The commission was told by one of the governor’s advisors it was an effort to reduce drunk driving. However, others said it was just the governor trying to retaliate against the legislature.
One legislator said, the fact the commission even had to spend time on this issue could have been avoided. Senator Tom Saviello, R-Wilton, said “If the veto message said, fine pass what you want, I think we’d be in a different place today.”
It was the governor’s veto of a bill that will place a five cent deposit on the 50 milliliter bottles that triggered the governor’s recommendation to halt the sale of the nips bottles in the state.
Among the people speaking to the commission was one legislator who sponsored the bill to place a deposit on the nips bottles. Representative Sue Austin, R-New Glouster, stated “I find that I am now heavy hearted, because I find that I would not have taken this step and been a part of losing a profitable and positive company that is in the twin cities of Lewiston – Auburn.”
Following the commission’s decision, the expansion of a Lewiston-based liquor company remains a possibility. If it becomes a reality, an additional 30-plus full-time jobs will be created.
By rejecting Governor LePage’s recommendation to take the 50 milliliter liquor bottles off the shelves, the commission essentially gave the go-ahead for a five cent deposit on the bottles. That won’t go into effect until January 2019.