Booze home delivery sales soar during pandemic
Booze home delivery sales soar during pandemic

BOSTON – A surge in home deliveries of alcohol, disproportionate job losses among women during the pandemic, and long-sought authorization for cashless lottery sales are all on Treasurer Deborah Goldberg’s mind as the Legislature kicks off its annual budget review.

During the COVID-19 era, the Alcohol Beverages Control Commission has seen direct-to-consumer alcohol deliveries on platforms such as Drizly increase 300 percent, Goldberg told the Joint Ways and Means Committee at its Tuesday budget hearing.

“Inspector investigators work tirelessly to vet direct shipment companies, prevent unlawful third-party deliveries, and collect excise taxes,” Goldberg said in her written remarks. “Without increased enforcement and oversight in this area, the ABCC estimates that millions of dollars in excise taxes would go uncollected.”

Goldberg also warned of the “mind-boggling” statistics showing that women have faced a sharp decline in employment in the COVID-19 era, reflecting the widely reported trend about disparate impacts across gender lines.

In December, men as a group made gains in employment, leaving women representing virtually all of the net losses, Goldberg said.

“I can’t even say more about that. It just stuns me,” she said.

In his $45.6 billion fiscal year 2022 budget, Gov. Charlie Baker included language authorizing cashless lottery sales, a step that Goldberg has pushed for years. She urged lawmakers to include it, warning that the Lottery remains “vulnerable to disruption” even after recent gains.

This is a developing story.