By a 58-3 vote, the state Senate approved legislation Monday that would create a temporary liquor sale permit system to address the sometimes long and expensive process of getting a liquor license.
"Some of the most frustrated people I have spoken with are those who have poured their life's savings and untold hours of work into opening a restaurant only to see months and months go by waiting for their liquor license to be approved," said Sen. Betty Little, R-Queensbury, a co-sponsor of the legislation. "Delays mean lost revenue. For new businesses starting out, a lengthy delay can mean the end of a dream. Especially in a tourism-dependent area like ours, getting a license to sell alcohol after the tourists have left for the season does no good."
The temporary permit would be valid for 90 days with the possibility of an extension, if needed. It would allow a business to sell to customers but could not be used for resale. The bill would apply only to premises located in municipalities of less than a million people, and the temporary permit could be revoked at any time if the state Liquor Authority deemed it necessary.
Senate Democrats Craig Johnson of Long Island and David Valesky of Oneida co-sponsored the bill. Assemblyman Robin Schimminger, D-Kenmore, chair of the Assembly Economic Development Committee, is sponsoring his house's companion bill.