Cuomo Submits Bill Revamping NY’s Liquor Laws


New York’s law governing where and when liquor may be sold hasn’t been changed in more than 80 years.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Wednesday advanced legislation modernizing the laws, after a panel he created in 2015 suggested changes. Speaking at the Three Heads Brewing in Rochester, the Democrat would reduce liquor license fees, as well as allow wine to be sold closer to houses of worship and earlier on Sundays.

Cuomo said that the panel decided that changing the law would require more effort than just tabling it and writing a new law. And he wants the legislature to pass it by the end of this year’s session next month.

Under the current law, Cuomo said, “If you had a winery, you couldn’t sell beer, you couldn’t sell whiskey. If you sold whiskey, you couldn’t sell beer, you couldn’t sell wine. If you didn’t sell food, you couldn’t sell this. I mean it was a crazy hodgepodge. You had to have a wall between where you sold the wine and where you sold the beer. Literally all from the 1930’s and 1940’s.”

Sales of alcoholic beverages, presently banned at places were the drinks are consumed on-premises before noon on Sunday, would by allowed to serve from 8:00 a.m.

The law would also allow the State Liquor Authority to waive an 1892 law banning a full liquor license to locations within 200 feet of a building that is exclusively used as a school or place of worship.