As New York State’s budget process works through the final month of negotiations, Governor Kathy Hochul is pushing one portion of the plan that gained popular support during the height of the pandemic.

New York could permanently legalize to-go sales of cocktails, bottles of wine and other alcoholic beverages under part of the budget dealing with the recovery of the hospitality industry in the state.

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State liquor regulators would have the power to limit how much wine and liquor restaurants and bars could sell in New York, where local laws prohibiting open containers of alcohol in public are widespread.

The Democratic governor says regulators would handle other specific issues posed by reporters at a wine bar in Brooklyn Wednesday, including whether restaurants could again sell bottles of liquor to-go. She says the public will have a chance to submit comment.

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Liquor store owners across the state have objected to making the booze-to-go provision permanent saying the sale of cocktails and possibly full bottles of liquor will seriously hurt their business.

New York’s budget is due April 1.

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