Sunday, June 26, 2016

Governor Cuomo makes it possible for NYers to tie one on at Sunday-morning brunch


As DNAinfo New York's Kathleen Culliton reports, "New Yorkers celebrated liberally on Twitter."

by Ken

Believe it or not, here in the Empire State -- including your Big Apple -- it has heretofore been illegal to booze up your Sunday brunch if you're brunching before noon. Well, actually it still is, and apparently will continue to be so until, well, some unspecified date, presumably in the not-so-distant future. And it all comes courtesy of our one and only governor, Andrew Cuomo. In case you were wondering, What the hell does that Andrew Cuomo do anyways?
New York Gets Two More Hours for Sunday Boozy Brunches

By Kathleen Culliton | June 15, 2016 5:56pm | Updated on June 17, 2016 4:58pm

Beer, wine and spirits will soon be sold legally in New York restaurants starting at 10 a.m. on Sundays.

NEW YORK CITY — Break out a flat mimosa or a barely bloody mary.

The city's restaurants will soon be able to serve alcohol on Sunday mornings starting at 10 a.m. after legislators agreed on Wednesday to amend the state's Alcohol Beverage Control Law.

"We've worked hard to cut red tape, lower costs and roll back burdensome regulations,” said Gov. Andrew Cuomo in a statement, “to help New York's craft beverage industry thrive and create jobs, as well as some of the best beer, wine, cider and distilled spirits in the world."

The agreement is part of a Cuomo’s campaign to simplify the 80-year-old blue law that governs the sale of alcohol in New York State restaurants, wineries, distilleries, breweries and cideries.

The law outlawed the sale of alcohol on Sunday before noon and prohibited manufacturers from producing different kinds of alcohol in one location.

But the new agreement will allow restaurants to file for a license to sell alcohol starting at 10 a.m. on Sundays and manufacturers to apply for one license to make different kinds of alcohol in one facility.

Also, wine can now be sold in growlers.

It was not immediately clear when the amendments to the law would go into effect.

The updates were spurred by a team of food and beverage industry officials, who assembled at the behest of the governor's office, to brainstorm ways to simplify and consolidate the 80-year-old law. The recommendations they made in April were the basis of Cuomo’s proposed changes.


Now, interestingly, there's a link. You notice it buried innocently enough in that last graf. You figure it probably just takes you to an April story about a set of recommendations that pretty much match what's just been done. And you know about links. How often do we have to decide whether to click through, in a thought process that goes something like: "Aw gee, look how much time I've already wasted on this stupid excuse for a story. Do I really wanna double down?"

In this case, though, the link takes us to a story that has kind of a different slant on the whole business. (Note: Lotsa links onsite.)

Locals, Officials Say Changes to Liquor Laws Made Without Transparency

By Allegra Hobbs | June 3, 2016 5:41pm | Updated on June 6, 2016 8:48am

Community Board 3 Chairwoman Gigi Li joined a host of community members and elected officials Friday to demand a voice in the governor's Alcohol Beverage Control Law Working Group.

MANHATTAN — Community members and local politicians claim Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s office drafted changes to the state’s Alcohol Beverage Control Law that could bring more booze to the city — without adequately consulting representatives of communities already drowning in liquor licenses.

The governor’s office has assembled an Alcohol Beverage Control Law Working Group— mostly comprised of food and beverage industry representatives — which in April pitched recommendations to “modernize” the state’s booze laws by removing 80-year-old restrictions it says are arcane and harmful to businesses.

But community boards and elected officials — who gathered on the steps of City Hall Friday — say the group sorely lacks representation from city neighborhoods most impacted by alcohol laws, and are demanding to be included in additional meetings before the recommendations become final.

“Many residents of the Lower East Side struggle every day with their quality of life," said Chairwoman Gigi Li of Community Board 3, which in April passed a resolution to oppose liquor saturation. "Community boards want to feel engaged and represented in any process that modifies the State's Alcohol Beverage Control Law."

The working group includes only one member of a community board — District Manager Ebenezer Smith of Washington Heights and Inwood’s Community Board 12 — while the other members are mostly stakeholders in breweries and other beverage distributors as well as lawyers.

The working group’s recommendations, made publicly available in April in a 43-page document via the governor’s website, include consolidating the nine types of licenses currently issued by the State Liquor Authority into three — wine, wine and beer, and full liquor licenses — and simplifying the process of acquiring a manufacturing license to remove bureaucratic restrictions burdening craft manufacturers.

The governor’s office says these changes were made in an effort to update policies that were first enacted after the lifting of Prohibition in 1934, and are now outdated and burdensome to business owners.

But the recommendations also include changes that members of liquor-soaked communities such as the Lower East Side fear could make it easier for incoming businesses to acquire licenses — one amendment would loosen restrictions currently imposed by the so-called 200 Foot Law, which prohibits the issuing of a license to an establishment on the same street and within 200 feet of a school or house of worship.

The amendment would only apply to restaurants, not to bars, and would still require notice be given to the school or house of worship, as well as local elected officials, to let each weigh in before a license is issued. But reps remain fearful of any modification to the law, which they say is one of the last remaining protections against liquor saturation.

“The existing 200-foot rule…is the only measure through which oversaturated communities get relief from even more applications,” said Assemblywoman Deborah Glick, who represents Greenwich Village and Soho.

The governor’s office says the stakeholders in the working group, equipped with “far-reaching expertise” on the issues, came up with a set of recommendations that will be beneficial for businesses previously burdened by outdated laws.

“The legislation brought forward was the product of extensive and thorough review, and will not only modernize these outdated and arcane laws, but also increase opportunities for businesses to grow and thrive,” said spokeswoman Abbey Fashouer.

The governor’s office further said it remains open to suggestions and welcomes input from community boards.

A representative for the governor’s office said the recommendations are slated to become law by the end of the current legislative session on June 16. 
Oh my! So perhaps one answer to that question "What the hell does that Andrew Cuomo do anyways?" is: He hobnobs with "industry representatives."

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