Speed Reads

road booze return

New York governor touts return of 'Drinks-to-Go' in her 1st (and maybe only) state of the state address

New York Gov. Kathy Hochul (D) announced Wednesday that she plans to bring back the state's "Drinks-to-Go" initiative which allowed bars and restaurants struggling under COVID restrictions to serve take-out alcohol, the New York Post reported.

"Drinks-to-Go" was allowed to lapse in June.

Hochul, who took office in August after former Gov. Andrew Cuomo's resignation, made the announcement during her first state of the state address.

She also proposed policies she said would expand the state's health care workforce, reduce taxes for small businesses, incentivize the purchase of electric vehicles, help formerly incarcerated people find jobs, and ensure greater oversight to prevent the kinds of ethical violations that brought down her predecessor.

Of course, Hochul's first state of the state address could also be her last. The next New York gubernatorial election is scheduled for November 2022, and the winner will be sworn in on Jan. 1, 2023. Hochul is running for re-election but faces several Democratic challengers in the June primary, including former New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio.

Before Hochul's speech, centrist Democrat Tom Suozzi, a member of the U.S. House representing Long Island, tweeted that "the State of our State is dismal."

Meanwhile, New York City Public Advocate Jumaane Williams, the candidate The New York Times describes as "the clear favorite in the battle for [votes of] the progressive left," released a written statement arguing that Hochul's proposals did not go far enough. "Much of this speech could have been given pre-pandemic, rather than meeting the moment by envisioning a new normal," the statement read.

Hochul currently leads in the polls, but many likely Democratic voters remain undecided.