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Gov. Hochul proposes permanent alcohol-to-go policy

New York State Governor Kathy Hochul announced a proposal to permanently legalize alcohol-to-go to support the recovery of the state’s restaurants and bars on Wednesday. March 2.

The proposal also includes plans to improve efficiency of the State Liquor Authority (SLA) and update the state’s liquor laws. Hochul also directed the SLA to consult with industry representatives and stakeholders to review existing laws.

“New York’s nightlife and hospitality industry are second to none, and our state cannot truly come back from this pandemic until we revitalize this crucial sector of our economy and the hundreds of thousands of jobs it provides,” said Hochul, according to a press release. “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 is it’s important that we reform and modernize the State Liquor Authority. This is just one of several steps we are taking to help small businesses come back from the pandemic stronger than ever before.”

The proposal has been met with support from lawmakers and industry representatives alike.

“These proposed reforms will go a long way toward improving business conditions as we are still dealing with the lasting impact of the COVID-19 pandemic,” said NYS Restaurant Association President and CEO Melissa Autilio Fleischut. “While we’re still not in the clear, we are optimistic about the future, and we value Governor Hochul’s leadership on issues like this and making drinks to-go permanent.”

You can view Governor Hochul’s full announcement here.