Two new bills have been introduced to New York’s Senate and Assembly on May 12th and May 18th (respectively), sponsored by New York State Senator Phil Boyle and Assembly Member Philip Steck. The bills are very similar to the “Empire Wine Bill” that appeared in both the Senate and Assembly last year, but was ultimately vetoed by Governor Cuomo in December 2015. The new bills, known as A10248 and S07728, have a similar mission to their predecessor bills. Specifically, these bills aim to “clarify the basis upon which the [NYSLA] has the authority to revoke, suspend or cancel a license or permit by excluding perceived violations of the laws of other states unless the conduct falls within certain exceptions and established standards in statute for the delivery of beverage alcohol.”
A10248 and S07728 propose to change Subdivision 3, Section 118—which talks to the Authority’s ability to revoke a license for cause—of the state’s alcohol beverage control law by adding additional language to the law which provides guidance on the definition of “for cause.” As it currently stands, the New York Alcoholic Beverage Control law defines “for cause” (in regard to the revocation of a license) in part as:
(3) As used in this section, the term “for cause” shall also include the existence of a sustained and continuing pattern of noise, disturbance, misconduct, or disorder on or about the licensed premises, related to the operation of the premises or the conduct of its patrons, which adversely affects the health, welfare or safety of the inhabitants of the area in which such licensed premises are located.
A10248 and S07728 propose additional language to establish “for cause.” The bills propose a subsection to (3) by adding (b) which, in summary, establishes the following:
- The first provision (3(b)) states that “for cause” (as used in Subdivision 3, Section 118) shall not include conduct by a licensee that occurs outside of New York State or violations of another state’s laws or regulations
- The first provisions (3(b)) goes on to say that the only way “for cause” will constitute such conduct is if one of the following conditions are met:
- The conduct independently violated a specific provision of the New York Alcoholic Beverage Control Law;
- The licensee or permittee is found guilty by authorities in another state in violation of that state’s law and has been provided due process of the law;
- The other state notified the licensee that such conduct is in violation of that state’s law and, having requested that the licensee cease and desist from that conduct, the licensee knowingly and repeatedly continues to engage in such conduct within that state;
- The licensee or permittee engaged in sales to minors in the other state; or
- The licensee failed to pay taxes in the other state where taxes are owed by the licensee or permittee.
The proposed text found in A10248 and S07728 are similar to the prior bills (A05920A and S04446A), but is organized somewhat differently and also adds three new conditions that were not present in either of the 2015 bills. Specifically, conditions three, four, and five (as noted above) were not present in the 2015 bills. Condition two was present in the 2015 bill, however the 2016 bill contains broader language and establishes “for cause” when a licensee is found to be in violation of another state’s law (assuming due process). The 2015 bill purportedly allowed for revocation of a license if a licensee was found in violation of another state’s laws and either (1) the conduct violated a specific chapter of the New York Alcoholic Beverage Control Law, or (2) if the conduct had occurred in New York, it would have been a violation of the New York Alcoholic Beverage Control Law. Condition two of the proposed 2016 bill is boarder in that it does not take into consideration whether such conduct outside of the State violated or would have violated (if the conduct had occurred in New York) the New York Alcoholic Beverage Control Law. Instead, the second condition simply requires a finding of a violation of another state’s law and due process.
For more information on the Empire Wine and prior bills, please see Retailer Empire Wine Sues New York State Liquor Authority: Direct Shipping and Bill Introduced to New York State Assembly Supports Empire Wine.
For more information on New York State wine or alcohol law, direct shipping, or establishing a New York beverage business, please contact Lindsey Zahn.
DISCLAIMER: This blog post is for general information purposes only, is not intended to constitute legal advice, and no attorney-client relationship results. Please consult your own attorney for legal advice.