ALBANY- Senator Brad Hoylman (D/WF-Manhattan) and Assemblymember Deborah J. Glick (D–Manhattan) released the following statement in response to the Governor’s signature of S55/A4315, which would require the State Liquor Authority (SLA) to create and maintain a public database of information specific to on-premises liquor licenses:
Senator Hoylman said: “Community boards, block associations, and residents across my district have for years called upon the State Liquor Authority to make information on these licenses more available and accessible, so that they can better understand their impact on our neighborhoods. This is basic, good government. Yet until now, to our enormous frustration, the only option for the public to learn this information was through filing a Freedom of Information Law (FOIL) request.
You shouldn’t have to file a FOIL request just to find out whether a bar in your neighborhood has a liquor license that permits live music or an outside patio. What’s more, under these constraints, police precincts aren’t able to respond to neighborhood noise complaints—as they have no way to confirm whether an establishment is operating within the parameters of their license or not.
Making liquor license information available to the public is an easy fix to make our neighborhoods work better for all New Yorkers. I’m thankful to Governor Cuomo for signing this bill into law, and to my Democratic colleagues and co-sponsor Assemblymember Glick for making government transparency a priority this session.”
Assemblymember Glick said: “For too long, it has been nearly impossible for community members to get very basic information about State Liquor Authority licensees that operate in our neighborhood. Now that liquor license information will be easily obtainable, people can see for themselves if nearby establishments are being good neighbors and are operating within the constraints of their license.
After ensuring this bill’s passage through the Assembly in 2018, I am gratified to see it has finally become law. I applaud Governor Cuomo for signing the bill today, and I am thankful for Senator Hoylman’s continued partnership in bringing meaningful change to our community.”
Susan Stetzer, District Manager for Community Board 3 in Manhattan, said: "Having information available online would be a tremendous help. We spend a lot of time working with community groups and with our local precincts to resolve issues that require information about a licensed business, particularly method of operation and outdoor use questions. I often ask community groups to help by FOILing information to save community board time. Senator Hoylman and Assemblymember Glick’s legislation will save time for the SLA also as well as eliminate FOILing backups that occur because of vacation or lack of staff. Having SLA information available online will create many efficiencies--there is no downside!"