Allowing customers to take alcoholic drinks as part of a takeout order from restaurants was rejected by state lawmakers in their budget proposals.
Gov. Kathy Hochul on Monday evening said she wanted to save the proposal, but indicated it may not get accomplished in the budget deal expected later this month.
"I want to make sure that happens," she said of a permanent extension of the alcohol-to-go provision. "We'll find the right place to get it done. This is something New Yorkers are excited about."
Hochul spoke with reporters Monday after meeting with county leaders who have gathered outside of Albany for an annual meeting of the New York State Association of Counties. Earlier in the day, lawmakers in the Democratic-controlled houses of the Legislature approved their budget proposals, setting up the next phase of negotiations over the spending plan.
The measure was initially put in place during the initial shutdown two years ago during the early weeks of the pandemic to provide a boost to struggling restaurants. The sector is yet to fully recover from the economic fallout of the crisis in New York.
While the plan may not land in the budget agreement, Hochul was hopeful the measure would be considered by the time the legislative session concludes in early June.
"This is to help businesses. This is to help them recoup money they lost during the pandemic," Hochul said. "This is a lifeline for them. I don't want to cut off that lifeline that our businesses are begging for and I want to get it done before the end of session."
The governor is in the midst of negotiating her first budge with lawmakers this month. She has proposed her own $216 billion plan, much of which was embraced by lawmakers.
Still, top Democrats have been hesitant to support non-fiscal policy items like an extension of mayoral control of New York City schools, which Hochul is backing for another four years.
"We'll have policy in the budget," Hochul said. "I believe. Just look at last year, there were at least 10 policy initiatives in the budget."
She pointed to the relatively short window of time for the post-budget session this year, which is also an election year for all 213 seats in the state Senate and Assembly as well for the governor's office.
"We want to get it all done," she said. "We have a lot of ideas that we believe we can work through with the leadership."