New York's Governor Kathy Hochul is pushing to legalize alcohol drinks to-go from restaurants in the state. As restaurants and bars around the state try to recover from the economic damage caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, Gov. Hochul announced some sweeping changes today, March 2, 2022. In addition to permanently making takeaway alcoholic beverages legal, she wants to ensure that the State Liquor Authority is operating efficiently. She instructed the authority to review current laws and identify red tape.

Gov. Hochul spoke about the importance of restaurants and bars to the economy of New York,

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. 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.

Photo by Kashish Grover on Unsplash
Photo by Kashish Grover on Unsplash
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The Governor proposes adding to the SLA's budget to hire more employees to better serve businesses. She also wants to cut the red tape that causes delays in the application process. As for drinks to-go, the Governor's proposals states that it was an important tool to keeping restaurants and bars open during the pandemic,

The Governor’s budget also proposes, as a key part of her Billion Dollar Rescue Plan for small businesses, permanently bringing back to-go drinks for restaurants. This policy provided a vital economic lifeline to our bar and restaurant industry during the pandemic, and reestablishing it, under proper limitations, will help to ensure our bars and restaurants get back on their feet and thrive.

You can read more about the Governor's proposed changes here.

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