New York: Gov. Cuomo vetoes bill that would’ve given New York wine, liquor stores more freedom in Internet sales

Mark Willingham Uncategorized

New York: Gov. Cuomo vetoes bill that would’ve given New York wine, liquor stores more freedom in Internet sales



BY Glenn Blain

December 12, 2015


Gov. Cuomo took some holiday cheer away from wine and liquor retailers late Friday by vetoing a bill they hoped would lead to greater freedom to sell products online.


Cuomo said the measure, which would have made it harder for the State Liquor Authority to crack down on merchants who ship booze to states where out-of-state purchases are prohibited, would have made New York a “haven for entities intent on breaking other state’s laws.”


The bill, sparked by the Liquor Authority’s battles with an Albany-area wine and liquor outlet, had drawn the interest of retailers across the nation who feared a Cuomo veto will endanger wine shops in New York and have a chilling effect on Internet sales across the country by emboldening other states to take similar enforcement measures.


“We are obviously very disappointed,” said Daniel Posner, president of the National Association of Wine Retailers and owner of a White Plains wine shop. “You are just limiting selection to consumers with acts like this.”


Cuomo, in his veto message, said he recognized the need to update state alcohol and beverage laws and directed the Liquor Authority to host a series of roundtable discussions on the issue starting in March.


The governor on Friday night also vetoed a pair of bills aimed at strengthening the state’s Freedom of Information Law, calling it a “piecemeal” attempt at FOIL reform. He promised to introduce a more comprehensive package during the upcoming legislative session.


One measure would have reduced from nine months to two months the time public agencies have to appeal a court ruling granting access to public records. The other measure would have required state agencies to pay legal fees and court costs when a judge rules there was no reasonable basis for denying the records.


On Saturday, Cuomo signed an executive order giving state agencies 60 days to file appeals in FOIL cases and also pledged to introduce a comprehensive reform package next year that would include the Legislature.


“The governor will not let the Legislature off the hook for not being subject to FOIL,” said Cuomo spokesman Rich Azzopardi.


Cuomo also vetoed a bill that would have required guaranteed funding increases to SUNY and CUNY to cover basic operating expenses, such as salaries and benefits. The governor said such issues needed to be negotiated as part of the upcoming budget.


All of the bills vetoed by Cuomo Friday were adopted by the Legislature before it ended its session in June.