April 28, 2021
The governor is ending the 11pm curfew for bars and restaurants in the month of May. May 17th is when restaurants/bars can be open outdoors, May 31st is when they can stay open indoors.
Senator Tom O’Mara (R, Big Flats) today called on the State Legislature to immediately act to end Governor Andrew Cuomo’s emergency executive order implementing a curfew for bars and restaurants throughout New York State, saying that local economies “can’t afford a baby steps approach to reopening.”
O’Mara’s call for swift action came following today’s move by the Legislature’s Democratic supermajorities to finally approve legislative resolutions rescinding a few of Cuomo’s long-standing executive orders, including repealing Executive Order (202.52 of 2020), which has been in effect since last July, stating that establishments licensed by the State Liquor Authority (SLA) can only serve a customer an alcoholic beverage if the order is accompanied by the purchase of a food item – the so-called “Cuomo Chips” order.
Prior to today, O’Mara and his Senate GOP colleagues have advanced nearly 40 motions on the floor of the Senate to execute a straight-out repeal of the governor’s emergency pandemic powers.
Under current rules, the Legislature can only repeal an emergency executive order by the governor through a concurrent resolution approved by both houses of the Legislature. O’Mara called today’s Senate approval of a few of these resolutions “tentative steps in the right direction” but added that more serious actions need to be immediately forthcoming.
O’Mara said, “It’s going to take more than this baby steps approach to reopening to help local economies find solid ground again. The Albany Democrats agreed to eliminate the laughingstock of these Cuomo executive orders, requiring food with a drink, but that’s an easy one and these are tentative steps in the right direction. Now we need to go all-in. It’s time for the Legislature to step all the way in and revisit Governor Cuomo’s dozens of emergency executive orders and get them out of the way of a safe, practical, sensible, and badly needed reopening. One of the first that needs rescinding should be the arbitrary, capricious, non-scientific curfew that continues to prevent restaurants, bars, taverns, and the entire hospitality industry from truly beginning a full recovery from the COVID-19 economic shutdown.”
Senator George Borrello issued the following statement in response to the State Senate’s action today to repeal the Executive Order requiring restaurants and bars to serve food with alcohol, as well as the Governor’s announcement that remaining curfews on these businesses will end in May.
“Today, New York State’s restaurants, bars and hospitality businesses can breathe a sigh of relief knowing that they will no longer need to abide by the senseless ‘food with alcohol’ requirement imposed by the Governor in July and that curfews will be lifted in May. It was a long and hard-fought effort to get to this point.
“However, for many small businesses, these moves come too late. Months of closure, followed by capacity-limited re-openings and restrictive mandates made continued operation impossible. Those that have managed to keep their doors open have taken on loans, reduced their staffs and made other sacrifices that should not have been necessary.
“I’ve been a relentless and strong voice for these businesses from day one of this pandemic, because as a restaurant owner myself, I realized the unbearable and unnecessary pain these directives were causing. While we welcome an end to the ludicrous food with alcohol requirement, the fact that this rule lived on, even after the Legislature’s so-called ‘repeal’ of the Governor’s emergency authority on March 5, is only further confirmation that step was pure political theater.
“The Governor’s repeal of the curfew, while welcome, is another pathetic attempt to keep himself in office after a multitude of failures and unethical behavior. He should no longer have the authority to dictate mandates and I will keep pressing for the Senate Majority to remove his powers, once and for all.
“We are beginning to see the light at the end of the tunnel and that should give us all great optimism. To my friends and peers in the restaurant and hospitality industry, you’ve endured hardships in the last year that you never imagined. I applaud the grit and tenacity that got you this far and will continue to be your strongest advocate in Albany.”