- Associated Press - Friday, February 13, 2015

MONTPELIER, Vt. (AP) - Two liberal Democratic senators from the Northeast are trying to ease taxation and regulation for the hard cider industry.

Sens. Patrick Leahy of Vermont and Charles Schumer of New York announced Thursday that their legislation - the CIDER Act - had been approved by the Senate Finance Committee.

CIDER is an acronym standing for Cider Investment and Development through Excise Tax Reduction.

The senators say the bill is designed to update federal cider rules to meet current market expectations and manufacturing practices.

It would raise allowable carbonation levels in hard ciders; align the alcohol content standard with the natural sugar content of apples; make U.S. standards consistent with European standards; and allow pears to be used in the manufacturing process.

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