Assembly Calls for Reform of ABC Law

March 20, 2007

The New York State Assembly has passed legislation (A.2953) calling for a systematic overhaul of the 1934 state law that still governs the sale and distribution of wine, beer and other alcohol beverages almost 75 years later.

The measure directs the state’s Law Revision Commission to review New York’s Alcoholic Beverage Control Law and to make recommendations to the Legislature for improving the effectiveness of the law and furthering New York State's policy goals relating to alcoholic beverage control. The purpose of the initiative, sponsored by Assemblyman Robin Schimminger, is to modernize and reform New York State’s liquor laws. Schimminger chairs the Assembly Committee on Economic Development, Job Creation, Commerce and Industry, which has jurisdiction over the state’s alcoholic beverage laws.

“This bill directs the Law Revision Commission to review the Alcoholic Beverage Control Law and to make recommendations, including necessary proposed revisions of the law,” said Schimminger. “The state's goals and objectives set forth in the Alcoholic Beverage Control Law have been hampered by its archaic structure. It is important to modernize and rationalize these antiquated laws that were originally enacted in 1934 upon the ending of Prohibition.”

The bill specifies that the Commission shall make a preliminary report to the Governor and the Legislature of its findings, conclusions and recommendations no later than March 1, 2008, and a final report that includes a proposed revision of such law, no later than September 1, 2008.

“Comprehensive reform of the state liquor laws also will eliminate incongruities and ambiguities and bring greater clarity to the law,” concluded Assemblyman Schimminger.

Senator James Alesi sponsors this legislation in the State Senate.