Hoylman Passes Legislation Requiring at Least One Member of the State Liquor Authority to Be a Resident of New York City


NEW YORK – Today, State Senator Brad Hoylman (D, WF-Manhattan) announced that he passed legislation (S5319) today that would require at least one member appointed by the Governor to the New York State Liquor Authority (SLA) be a resident of New York City. The legislation passed 40-21 in the New York State Senate. Assemblymember Deborah Glick (D-Manhattan) carries the companion legislation (A6896) in the New York State Assembly.

The SLA, which consists of three Governor-appointed Commissioners, is responsible for regulating the manufacture and distribution of alcoholic bev  erages throughout the entire state. While more than half of the state’s 3,147 approved on-premises license applications in 2015 originated in New York City, there are no laws ensuring that the 8.5 million residents of New York City are represented on the Board. Hoylman and Glick’s bill would change this by amending the Alcoholic Beverage Control Law to ensure representation that is more equitable.

State Senator Brad Hoylman said: “I’m grateful to my Senate colleagues for supporting my and Assemblymember Glick’s legislation requiring at least one member of the SLA to be a resident of New York City. NYC is responsible for more than half of all the approved alcohol licenses granted across our state, so we deserve a seat at the table when these important decisions are being made. This legislation will help ensure that our local community’s concerns are taken into consideration.”

Assemblymember Deborah Glick said: “I am so pleased that the Senate has passed our bill, which requires one Commissioner of the State Liquor Authority (SLA) be a resident of New York City. I thank Senator Hoylman for his leadership as the Senate sponsor. New York City Community Boards hear more than half of all applications in the State before the SLA, and have a deep understanding and investment in how on-premise licenses for alcohol consumption are processed in our dense communities. A Commissioner who resides within the City has lived the experiences of many residents and will further the expertise of the Board. This is a step closer to having equitable representation for New York City residents before the SLA.”

Terri Cude, Chair of Community Board No. 2, Manhattan, said: "I thank Senator Hoylman for drafting this legislation and am thrilled that it has passed in the Senate. It is vitally important that we have a commissioner who understands the balance between supporting business and protecting residents. I hope that the next commissioner will be from an over-saturated area who can relate to the challenges in neighborhoods like CB2.”

Alysha Lewis-Coleman, Chair of Community Board No. 3, Manhattan, said: “Several community boards in NYC together make up the great majority of New York State liquor licenses and the work that goes along with processing and hosting licenses. It is therefore essential that New York City be represented on the State Liquor Authority board. We greatly miss Commissioner Kim who had a unique understanding of our city issues. His replacement is overdue.”

Burt Lazarin, Chair of Community Board No. 4, Manhattan, said: “As Co-Chair of MCB4's Business License and Permits Committee for many years and currently Chair of the Board, I am keenly aware of the importance of having a member of the SLA from New York City who would be intimately aware of the impact of alcohol serving establishments in our communities and how they fit in the mix of our retail and residential weave.  I support Senator Holyman's bill.”

Molly Hollister, Chair of Community Board No. 6, Manhattan, said: “It is crucial to have at least one resident of NYC appointed to the SLA. The unique concerns of the city and interests of our communities need to be represented.”

Roberta Semer, Chair of Community Board No. 7, Manhattan, said: “The citizens of NYC deserve to be represented on the SLA Board by a NYC resident who understands the complications and diversity of our city.”

Last November, Senator Hoylman and Assemblymember Glick sent a letter to the Governor requesting that he use his appointing authority to nominate a City resident to fill the vacant Commissioner position on the SLA Board, which has relied on just two since the retirement of Commissioner Kevin Kim, a New York City resident, in August.