Takeaway alcoholic beverages are back
Ms Hochul got her wish to legalize takeaway alcohol, but the drinks come with a sunset clause.
Bars and restaurants were temporarily allowed to sell alcoholic beverages to take away for more than a year at the height of the pandemic, a lifeline that provided these businesses with extra revenue to stay afloat. But the measure expired last summer after lawmakers failed to renew it, much to the dismay of some New Yorkers.
The effort to legalize take-out drinks had been strongly opposed by the influential liquor store lobby, which claimed it would hurt the bottom line of its member stores. They undid the measure last summer. Some legislators, particularly those in suburban areas, have also expressed concern about the effect this could have on drink-driving and drinking in public on street corners, in violation of laws on open containers.
Ms Hochul broke her promise to make the sale of take-out drinks permanent: lawmakers agreed to allow them for three years. Bars and restaurants will not be allowed to sell full bottles of wine or liquor, and they will only be able to sell the drinks with the purchase of a “substantial” food order.
Gasoline Tax Suspension and Additional Relief
In response to rising gasoline prices, officials agreed to suspend some state gasoline taxes from June 1 through the end of the year. This would save New York motorists about 16 cents per gallon at current gas prices, now somewhere over $4 per gallon.
The move, Ms. Hochul said, would save individuals and businesses about $585 million.
The budget also included $800 million in relief for tenants at risk of eviction; $250 million to help those facing backlogs of public services; and $125 million to help landlords and owners who have been financially impacted by the pandemic.
While the specifics are unclear, Ms. Hochul said the state would invest about $1.2 billion to provide bonuses to frontline healthcare workers and raise the minimum wage for home healthcare workers by $3 an hour, a lower raise than defenders. look for.
Lawmakers also convinced Ms. Hochul to allocate funds to expand health care coverage to undocumented immigrants, though she acknowledged it would only cover immigrants over the age of 65, while the state demanded a federal waiver to cover more people.