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Legislative Memo

Johnny Evers
Director of Government Affairs
T 518.465.7511
www.bcnys.org

BILL:

S.8140 (Lanza) /A.10728 (Schimminger)

Support

SUBJECT:

Relates to the reorganization of the alcoholic beverage control law, on premise sale of alcoholic beverages on Sunday mornings

 

DATE:

June 15, 2016

 

The Business Council of New York State, the State’s largest business and industry association, supports S.8140/A.10728 that would make amendments to the alcoholic beverage control law (ABCL) including the provision of language to allow for Sunday morning sales of alcoholic beverages for on site consumption. This proposal would also modernize numerous sections of the ABCL including streamlining certain permit and sales provisions. The legislation also amends the Executive Law in relation to vacancies on the State Liquor Authority Board and the chairmanship of said board.

This legislation is the result of months of study and industry input into the modernization of the ABCL. Many of the provisions restructured under this legislation date back to prohibition era, including a ban on Sunday morning sales.

The legislation eliminates many unnecessary provisions for manufacturers in the industry. For example, under this legislation, solicitors working for a manufacturer, regardless of the size of the business, will no longer have to file a surety bond with the SLA. In a related vein, the Authority will no longer require New York craft manufacturers with multiple manufacturing operations at one location to obtain multiple licenses. This bill would enable manufacturers to apply for one license for the selected activities requiring one filing fee and one renewal application. The bill also adds new provisions to create a combined craft manufacturing license and an importer's license.

Several provisions will directly assist the expanding wine, brewing and distilled spirits industry.

The ABCL currently requires that wine sold at retail stores for off-premises consumption be kept in sealed containers. This bill permits wineries to sell wine in growlers. The ABCL also prohibits an individual from leaving a winery with an open bottle of wine. This bill would now permit patrons to take the rest of the wine home.

Under this legislation even the outdated prohibitions against the selling of gift bags and gift wrapping at off-premise liquor and wine stores is repealed. Similarly, current law prohibits owners of an on-premise liquor or wine license and an adjacent off-premises beer license from moving liquor or wine from a storage area, through the beer premises, and into the on-premises location. This bill would eliminate this burdensome requirement on many small businesses and grocery stores.

Of great importance to New York’s expanding wine, brewing, and distilled spirits industry is the so-called “brunch bill” provisions in this legislation that would end the ban on Sunday morning sales. This legislation would enable on-premises licenses throughout the state to begin serving alcoholic beverages for consumption on the premises on Sundays at 10 a.m., rather than noon. Licensees outside of New York City may also apply for a permit to allow the licensee to serve alcoholic beverages starting at 8a.m.on Sundays provided they notify the local municipality and may only obtain twelve of these permits each calendar year.

For the above reasons, The Business Council of New York State, Inc, supports S.8140/A.10728 and urges its passage.