Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced the creation of a working group of industry leaders to recommend revisions to New York State’s Alcoholic Beverage Control Laws. The group, which is a direct result of the 3rd Wine, Beer, Spirits and Cider Summit, will review existing statutory provisions and explore approaches to clarify and modernize the 80-year-old statute.

“This administration has worked hard to cut red tape and break down bureaucratic barriers in order to help this state’s burgeoning craft wine, beer, spirit and cider producers thrive and create jobs,” Governor Cuomo said. “This working group will help continue these efforts, providing both perspective and first-hand experience on how to bring our laws into the modern era and further aid in the growth of this great New York industry.”

The working group will hold an opening meeting on November 12, 2015 at 1:00 pm at the State Liquor Authority’s Harlem office located at 317 Lenox Avenue. Headed by State Liquor Authority Chairman Vincent Bradley, the review will build upon the legislative and regulatory progress achieved over the past five years, focusing on reorganizing or replacing the current alcohol beverage control law, including, but not limited to:

· Removing outdated and redundant provisions;
· modernizing statutory language for clarity;
· improving and consolidating various licensing provisions;
· clarifying the types of licenses available;
· reducing mandatory paperwork; and
· eliminating unnecessary restrictions imposed on manufacturers.
Members of the industry workgroup include:

· Rose Mary Bailly, Executive Director, New York State Law Revision Commission
· Robert Bookman, Counsel, New York City Hospitality Alliance
· Jean Marie Cho, General Counsel at William Grant & Sons
· Keven Danow, Partner, Danow, McMullan & Panoff
· Lester Eber, Vice President, Southern Wine and Spirits
· Tom Edwards, President, New York State Liquor Store Association
· Ralph Erenzo, Founder and Master Distiller, Tuthilltown Spirits
· Steve Harris, President, New York State Beer Wholesalers Association
· Noreen Healey, Counsel, Phillips Nizer
· Steve Hindy, Co-founder, Brooklyn Brewery
· Mark Koslowe, Managing Partner, Buchman Law Firm
· Nick Matt, Chairman & CEO, F.X. Matt Brewing Company
· Michael Rosen, President & CEO, Food Industry Alliance of New York State
· Ebenezer Smith, District Manager, Community Board 12, Manhattan
· Jim Trezise, President, New York Wine & Grape Foundation
· Scott Wexler, Executive Director, Empire State Restaurant & Tavern Association
The workgroup will also include representatives from the State Department of Agriculture and Markets, Empire State Development Corporation, and the Department of Taxation and Finance. Additional industry members and other interested parties are encouraged to attend the November 12th meeting.

“While recent business friendly legislative and regulatory changes have been made, the current organization of the law makes it challenging for regulators, difficult for attorneys, and almost impossible for the average licensee to easily comprehend,” said SLA Chairman Vincent Bradley. “I applaud Governor Cuomo for bringing together some of the best minds in the industry to examine these challenges and develop working solutions to update and modernize the law.”

Since Governor Cuomo took office in 2011, both the number of farm based businesses manufacturing wine, beer, spirits and cider using ingredients grown in New York and the total number of manufacturers producing alcoholic beverages have more than doubled since 2011, spurred by state actions that support the alcohol beverage industry.