Student wine and beer tasting bill advances

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Photo - Assemblyman Wes Chesbro, D-Arcata, called on Assembly members to approve his measure that allows underage college students studying wine and beer production to take classes in which they can taste the beverage, at the Capitol in  Sacramento, Calif., Thursday, May 15, 2014.  By a 70-2 vote the Assembly approved Chesbro's bill, AB1989 and sent it to the Senate. (AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli)
Assemblyman Wes Chesbro, D-Arcata, called on Assembly members to approve his measure that allows underage college students studying wine and beer production to take classes in which they can taste the beverage, at the Capitol in Sacramento, Calif., Thursday, May 15, 2014. By a 70-2 vote the Assembly approved Chesbro's bill, AB1989 and sent it to the Senate. (AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli)
News,Business,Food and Drink,Higher Education

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — It would be legal for underage college students aspiring to be winemakers and brewers to taste what they produce under a bill approved by the state Assembly.

AB1989 heads to the Senate after passing Thursday on a 70-2 vote.

Democratic Assemblyman Wesley Chesbro of Arcata says some viticulture students cannot graduate in four years because certain classes are restricted to students 21 and older.

His bill allows eight programs, including at UC Davis and Fresno State, to remove age restrictions. The bill applies only to students majoring in winemaking and brewery science and not to students taking elective classes.

Despite legislative records labeling the bill as "Underage Drinkers," Chesbro cautions that it only permits tasting and spitting and doesn't encourage partying in class.

Oregon and Washington have adopted similar laws.

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