Governor Hochul proposes permanent financial security for bars

ALBANY, NY (WTEN) — Governor Kathy Hochul on Wednesday announced new measures to ensure a more effective National Liquor Authority, including a proposal to permanently legalize take-out alcohol.

In her State of the State Address in January, Governor Hochul announced that take-out alcohol would once again be allowed in restaurants and bars across New York State.

Take-out alcohol ended in New York State on June 5. Although local restaurant owners were pleased with the announcement, they remained hopeful that the extension could last even longer.

Governor Hochul said Wednesday she would advocate not just for the extension, but to make the policy permanent in New York state.

In previous alcohol-to-go guidelines, any on-site licensee and any manufacturing licensee with on-site retail privileges were permitted to sell for off-site consumption all alcoholic beverages sold for on-site consumption. under the law.

Governor Hochul also announced that she will more than double staff at the State Liquor Authority to handle the backlog of liquor license applications across the state.

More than 75,000 applications, Hochul said, have been in limbo for some time now.

Governor Hochul now plans to convene groups of people to look at “the ABCs of ABC law,” allowing temporary permits not only for restaurants and bars, but also for craft makers.

Hochul plans to re-examine the whole process, reforming the system as a whole.

Temporary liquor licenses have been distributed in as little as three weeks in recent months. This transforms liquor board laws and has allowed many businesses that were closed due to pandemic costs to reopen.

“New York isn’t just open for business, we’re open for the best companies. We are excited to welcome everyone back,” Hochul said.

“New York’s nightlife and hospitality industry is second to none, and our state cannot truly recover from this pandemic until we revitalize this crucial sector of our economy and the hundreds of thousands of jobs that it provides,” Governor Hochul said. “We owe it to our small businesses to provide them with the resources and regulatory framework they need to grow and thrive, which is why it’s important that we reform and modernize the State Liquor Authority. This is just one of many steps we’re taking to help small businesses emerge from the pandemic stronger than ever. »

The governor’s plan is to permanently bring back take-out drinks for restaurants, citing it’s a key revenue stream for businesses still struggling to stay afloat after the pandemic.

In addition, another proposal is to modify the existing rules on fair limits on “split case fees”. According to officials, this fee is charged to restaurants and bars that do not have the resources to purchase full cases of liquor and wine they intend to sell, which can cost up to $3. dollars a bottle.

In an effort to rebuild businesses, Wednesday’s proposal also included adding $2 million in spending to the State Liquor Authority to hire more than 30 full-time employees.

This will help reduce the processing time for bards and restaurants applying for business licenses, which currently stands at 20-26 weeks according to the governor’s office.

Watch the full press conference here:

Sarah J. Greer