GOP lawmakers call for immediate lift to bar and restaurant curfew
Republican lawmakers are calling for an immediate lift to the state's 11 p.m. bar and restaurant curfew.
They say it's arbitrary, confusing and is really hurting local businesses.
The question that some Republicans are asking is why the state announced that curfews will be lifted on casinos, movie theaters and pool halls, but not on restaurants and bars. That's why on Monday, they filed resolutions to overrule the governor's executive order, which appears to be in place for at least another month.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo said last week one of his top priorities is reopening the state, but that his team is still evaluating the closing time for bars and restaurants - and could have an update in a few weeks.
The CDC says going inside a restaurant or bar increases a person's chances of getting COVID-19, and recommends if a person does go, to take safety precautions and to try to limit how long they stay.
However, there's no guidance on whether there should be a curfew for those businesses.
Republicans point to the fact that industry leaders estimate 8,000 restaurants have closed in New York since the pandemic - that's about one in six in the state.
"There's no science that says at 10:59 you're not allowed to spread but at 11:01 you are," says Sen. Rob Ortt.
"It is clear that those making these arbitrary rules haven't spent any time running one of these businesses," said Sen. Sue Serino.
"COVID has no idea what time it is," says Sen. George Borrello.
If all Republicans support it, they will still need 33 Democrats in the Assembly and 12 in the Senate to pull the plug on the curfew.