The New York State Senate Republican conference has introduced a concurrent resolution (B477) to rescind Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s mandate that prohibits bars and restaurants from serving alcoholic beverages to patrons who do not order food.
The executive order (202.52 of 2020), which was put into effect last July by Cuomo, stated any establishment licensed by the SLA could only serve alcoholic beverages if accompanied by the purchase of a food item by each individual being served an alcoholic beverage. The change was announced by Cuomo during a news conference – the GOP said “with no guidance in place, and caused mass confusion within the bar and restaurant industry that was already struggling to comply with constantly changing regulations and mandates.”
Senate Republican Leader Rob Ortt said, “While we all recognized the need to make adjustments to help contain the spread of the virus in the midst of the pandemic, this order was completely arbitrary, with absolutely no scientific data to back it up. Our bars and restaurants continue to struggle under burdensome mandates passed on by the governor, and lifting this one is a no-brainer that would immediately help these businesses get back on their feet.”
New York State Sen. Sen. George Borrello said, “As we mark a year into the pandemic, the cumulative economic toll on our restaurants, hospitality businesses and their hardworking employees keeps growing. Burdened by the governor’s overly restrictive and arbitrary mandates, New York’s industry is in worse shape than its peers in other states and, every day, we see more of these small businesses forced to close their doors. While the governor is consumed with defending himself against a series of unfolding scandals, we need to be laser-focused on doing everything in our power to help our struggling hospitality sector and the New Yorkers it employs by rescinding senseless directives like this one that accomplish nothing other than causing further economic harm.”
New York State Sen. Patrick Gallivan said, “Restaurants have been one of the businesses hit especially hard by pandemic-related restrictions, many of which are arbitrary and not based on science. The requirement for customers to purchase food when ordering alcoholic beverages is just one example. As we move to safely reopen our economy, we must continue to ease restrictions and eliminate unnecessary burdens on businesses and consumers.”
Last week on the floor of the Senate chamber, Deputy Majority Leader Mike Gianaris stated, “For example, there is currently a rule in place that, if you’re at an establishment and having a beverage, you have to also have food. It is our opinion that would no longer be able to be in effect because that is unrelated to public health.”
Ortt said, “I’m encouraged that Sen. Gianaris shares our sentiment that there is no scientific reason for this mandate – which hurts our bars and restaurants – to remain in place. I look forward to our colleagues in the majority bringing this to the floor, and joining us to support this commonsense resolution that would actually provide some relief to our small businesses.”