NEW YORK CITY (WABC) -- As New York State officials and the Restaurant Association mark two years of COVID-19 pandemic hardship, they are amplifying their calls for alcohol-to-go sales to become permanent.
State Senator Jessica Ramos and Assemblymembers Nily Rozic, Catalina Cruz and Jessica González-Rojas were joined by the New York State Restaurant Association (NYSRA) and local restaurant owners.
They want the state legislature to make alcohol-to-go permanent in the final 2022-2023 fiscal year budget.
The event also marked the two-year anniversary of New York State on PAUSE, the emergency orders that shuttered all restaurants at the beginning of the pandemic.
Under New York's state of emergency during the COVID-19 pandemic, restaurants and bars were allowed to sell alcoholic beverages to-go.
A survey conducted by the state association in May 2021 found more than 78% of New Yorkers support alcohol-to-go becoming permanent.
However, once the emergency order ended, so did the policy allowing restaurants and bars to continue what the association called a "needed and reliable revenue stream."
Pre-pandemic, New York's thriving restaurant industry stimulated $4B in tax revenue for the state and alcohol-to-go will play a key role in building back revenue.
The state's final budget must be approved by March 31, 2022.