Albany – The New York State Assembly this week passed Assembly Bill 11364, introduced by Assemblywoman Joan Millman, to close a loophole which allows establishments applying for liquor licenses that are located within 200 feet of a school, church, synagogue or other place of worship to evade the 200 foot rule by moving the entrance of their establishment. A companion bill also was introduced in the State Senate by Senator Martin Connor and passed as well. The bill now awaits Governor Paterson’s signature in order to become New York State law.
The 200 foot rule prevents an establishment from receiving a liquor license from the New York State Liquor Authority (SLA) if the entrance to the establishment lies within 200 feet of a school, church, synagogue or other places of worship. This legislation will amend the SLA’s standards from currently measuring between entryways to measuring between the closest property line of the liquor establishment and the nearest entryway of the school or other place of worship. Too often, a bar simply moves its entryway so that it is compliant with the letter of the law; however, the purpose of this law is to prevent bars from being too close to a school, church, synagogue or other place of worship.
“I am pleased that I was able to convert an idea from the community into a bill that passed the New York State legislature and now is awaiting the Governor’s signature,” said Millman. “I thank my constituents for sharing their input with me and I encourage Governor Paterson to sign this bill into law.”