ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — Governor Kathy Hochul announced new actions to ensure a more efficient and effective State Liquor Authority Wednesday morning, including a proposal to permanently legalize alcohol-to-go. In her State of the State address in January, Governor Hochul announced-alcohol to-go would once again be allowed in New York State restaurants and bars.
Alcohol-to-go ended in New York State on June 5, 2021. Though local restaurant owners were happy about the announcement, they have remained hopeful that the extension could last even longer. Governor Hochul said Wednesday she would advocate for not only that extension, but for making the policy a permanent one in New York State.
In the previous alcohol-to-go guidance, any on-premises licensee and any manufacturing licensee with on-premises retail privileges were allowed to sell for off-premises consumption any alcoholic beverages that are sold for on-premises consumption under the law.
Hochul also announced she is more than doubling the workforce within the State Liquor Authority to handle backlogs in liquor license applications across the state. More than 75,000 applications, she said, have been in limbo for some time now.
Hochul now plans to convene groups of people to look into the “ABCs of ABC law”, allowing for temporary permits not only for restaurants and bars but for craft manufacturers as well. Hochul plans to re-examine the entire process, reforming the system as a whole.
Temporary alcohol permits have been distributed in as little as three weeks in recent months. This is transformative for liquor authority laws and has allowed many businesses shuttered from pandemic costs to reopen.
“New York is not just open for business, we are open for the best businesses. We are excited to welcome everyone back,” she concluded.