End the Arbitrary Mandates on Our Restaurants and Bars

Assemblyman Phil Palmesano (R,C,I-Corning) issues statement following Monday press conference

“Today, I joined my Minority Conference colleagues in the Assembly and Senate to call for an end to the arbitrary mandates that continue to crush our small businesses, particularly our local restaurants and bars. Last week, the governor lifted the 11 p.m. curfew on various social establishments such as casinos, gyms, bowling alleys, movie theaters and billiard halls. Notably, restaurants and bars were not included in this pulling back of regulation. They are still subject to the 11 p.m. curfew and are mandated to serve food with any alcoholic beverage order. This is why both the Assembly and Senate Minority Conferences are offering concurrent resolutions that would end Executive Order numbers 202.52 and 202.74 pursuant to section 29-A of Executive Law.

“The governor’s decision to keep these mandates on restaurants and bars is not based on science. His own numbers from a December presentation show that COVID-19 transmission could be traced back to restaurants and bars in only 1.43% of instances. Our restaurants and bars have spent the last year working hard to make the necessary investments and accommodations to meet arbitrary and constantly changing Executive Orders and directives coming from the governor.

“I have said from the start that COVID-19 is not just a public health crisis, but it’s also an economic crisis. Mandatory lockdowns, curfews and over-regulation have crushed our local businesses, workers and families. The Southern Tier has proven to be a leader in New York state in keeping COVID-19 transmission rates down. Our area continues to have a 7-day rolling average of under 1% in positive tests.

“These low transmission rates should be met with continued reopening. It is well past time we open and allow our small businesses to get back to making the living they have missed out on for over a year. I urge my colleagues in the Majority to swiftly bring up and adopt our resolutions that would end the curfew and mandatory food requirements.”