SAUGERTIES, NY – A bill that would legalize the sale of beer and wine in movie theaters has been passed by a state Senate committee led by a Saugerties lawmaker.
The law project was among four others who were favored by the Agriculture and Food Committee chaired by State Senator Michelle Hinchey, D-Saugerties. It was sponsored by Diane Savino, a Democrat from Staten Island.
“Senator Savino’s bill was passed unanimously by the Agriculture and Food Committee and would not only expand markets for our craft beverage producers, but serve as an important economic engine for our small cinemas. streets who have struggled during this pandemic, ”Hinchey said in a statement. “At a time when COVID-19 has decimated our local entertainment industry, we must find creative ways to provide our small businesses with additional sources of income that will allow them to thrive in our communities. “
Hinchey represents the 46th Senate District.
“The bill establishes a framework to allow and regulate the sale and consumption of alcoholic beverages in movie theaters,” Hinchey’s office said in a press release. “The legislation contains protections to prevent overconsumption and consumption of alcohol by minors with mandatory identity checks and a rule of one drink per purchase per ticket.”
At least one Republican says she would be receptive to permission to sell beer and wine in movie theaters.
“Although I voted against this bill last year, our small local theaters are really suffering right now because of the pandemic,” Senator Sue Serino, R-Hyde Park, said in an email. . “I rule by listening and will keep an open mind if the bill comes to a vote again this year. “
Other bills sponsored by Hinchey were also favored by the committee last week. They are:
• Nourish NY Program: This bill would establish the state’s farm-to-food bank program, Nourish NY, as an ongoing program for distributing surplus agricultural produce to food aid organizations across New York State.
• Agricultural helpline: This bill would create a “one-stop-shop” hotline under the leadership of Cornell Cooperative Extension to connect farmers with the information needed to grow their businesses, such as tax credit programs, early-stage farmer loans and sustainable practices. .
• Carbon agriculture tax credit: This bill would create a tax credit to compensate farmers for implementing land management practices that improve soil health and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
• New York State Animal and Plant Fiber Program: This bill would expand the state’s existing Grown and Certified program to include animal and plant fibers, such as sheep’s wool and hemp, as a new category of products eligible for such a seal of certification.
Hinchey said she would continue to support legislation related to agriculture.
“I am proud to propose bills that reflect the diverse needs of our agricultural industry and those that support everyone from our craft beverage producers to our ranchers,” she said in a statement. “Strengthening the links between farmers and consumers in New York has never been more important, and we are determined, as a committee, to find ways to strengthen our farm businesses while connecting more our residents to the wide selection of high quality food and agricultural products grown and manufactured right here in New York State.
Serino, who represents the 41st Senate District, said she felt the same.
“Agriculture is the backbone of our state and our Hudson Valley community, and now more than ever, we should be bringing forward bills that effectively strengthen the bonds between farmers and consumers and j I look forward to supporting these bills when they come to a vote. . “