Governor Hochul Signs Legislation Improving Alcoholic Beverage Laws for Consumers and Small Business Owners (2024)

Governor Kathy Hochul today signed a package of legislation that will improve New York's laws related to alcoholic beverages in an effort to expand options for consumers and support New York's small businesses in the alcoholic beverage sector.

"Across New York, breweries, distilleries and other alcoholic beverage businesses are creating jobs and expanding economic opportunity,” Governor Hochul said. “I'm proud to sign this legislation that will modernize the laws governing the sales of alcoholic beverages in New York.”

Legislation S.5731/A.6941 allows for the sale of beer, mead, braggot and cider on any day of the week including Sundays. Legislation S.2854/A.7305 allows liquor and wine stores to expand their Sunday hours so that they may open at 10am and close at 10pm. Legislation S.6443/A.6134 extends the length of validity of a brewer’s license from one year to three years. Legislation S.3364A/A.2902 allows for businesses to prepare and keep drinks containing alcohol in pressurized dispensing machines. Legislation S.3567A/A.6050A allows retail stores to sell complementary gift and promotional items related to wine and spirit sales. Legislation S.6993A/A.7688 adds parcels of land to the list of premises which are exempt from the provisions of law which generally restrict manufacturers/wholesalers and retailers from sharing an interest in a liquor license.

This legislation package builds upon Governor Hochul’s efforts to address outdated laws in New York regarding alcohol and its sales throughout the state. As part of the FY 2023 Enacted Budget, alcohol to-go was established as law, allowing take out drinks. Last year, Governor Hochul also signed legislation to allow catering establishments to apply for off-premises licenses to serve liquor at event locations, supporting caters and small businesses in the hospitality industry.

State Liquor Authority Chair Lily M. Fan said, “We applaud the continued efforts by our Governor and the Legislature to help small businesses succeed and protect public safety by addressing antiquated liquor laws. With this legislative package, our licensed businesses will grow economically and face less governmental burden and legislative restraint.”

State Senator Sean Ryan said, “As chair of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Economic Development and Small Business, I'm always supportive of reforms that make it easier for businesses to operate in New York. I thank Governor Hochul for signing my bill and the rest of these common sense measures into law. Removing outdated restrictions like these is good for small business owners, good for consumers, and good for the economy."

State Senator James Skoufis said, “Prohibition was nearly a century ago. This legislative package breathes some fresh life into our state’s antiquated alcohol laws by permitting wine and liquor stores to open for additional hours on Sundays, allowing for the sale of promotional items, and more. I thank Governor Hochul for signing these bills and I look forward to continuing to partner with her on revamping New York’s outdated alcohol laws.”

Assemblymember Harry Bronson said, "Thank you Governor Hochul for signing my bill to expand Sunday hours for liquor stores. Ultimately this is supporting a fair and equitable economic opportunity, and liquor stores are now on an equal playing field with bars and restaurants. And I couldn't be happier that this change to the law comes during Bills season!"

Assemblymember Brian A. Cunningham said, “From our local, family-owned restaurants to our corner liquor stores, New York State’s liquor laws should align with modern health and safety standards and residents’ needs. Updating regulations and store hours to reflect new realities is crucial for the wellbeing of our businesses and the communities they serve. I am proud to sponsor A2902 and A7305, which modernize and upgrade alcohol dispensing machines and support the economic vitality of our local small business owners.”

Assemblymember Sarah Clark said, “New York's farm and restaurant brewers have been forced to dedicate time and resources to an annual license renewal process, while producers of other alcoholic beverages are only required to renew every three years. I was proud to carry this bill to help ease the burden on our state's small businesses, and thank Governor Hochul for her support.”

New York State Brewers’ Association Executive Director Paul Leone said, “The craft beer industry in New York is the second largest in total number of breweries in the country, this wouldn’t be possible if it weren’t for the support we get from Governor Hochul and the entire administration. Extending brewery license renewals from 1 to 3 years eases yet one more administrative burden on breweries, and allows them to continue focusing on the one thing they do best, brewing world class beer.”

Empire State Restaurant & Tavern Association Executive Director Scott Wexler said, "We commend Governor Hochul for signing these bills into law that modernize and update the state's Alcohol Beverage Control law. These measures will fuel economic development and job growth, especially for the small businesses that comprise the overwhelming majority of businesses who will benefit from these changes," said Scott Wexler, Executive Director of the Empire State Restaurant & Tavern Association.

New York State Restaurant Association President and CEO Melissa Autilio said, "Technical advancements have improved beverage storage and mixture equipment available to bars and restaurants. This legislation brings New York State's ABC laws in line with modern technology. More bars and restaurants will be able to easily pre-mix drinks in safer apparatuses and better serve customers. I applaud Governor Hochul and the state legislature for adopting these new guidelines."

New York Association of Convenience Stores President Ken Sopris said, “The New York Association of Convenience Stores commends Governor Kathy Hochul and the Legislature for their commitment to updating New York’s alcohol control laws to advance consumer friendly but responsible policies. The convenience store industry appreciates sensible updates to the law that provide adult consumers with safe access to products. Our stores and our customers thank the Governor for her commitment to updating antiquated policies to modernize our state’s alcohol laws.”

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Governor Hochul Signs Legislation Improving Alcoholic Beverage Laws for Consumers and Small Business Owners (2024)

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