Governor David A. Paterson today announced the inclusion of $2.4 million in funding for technology improvements at the State Liquor Authority (SLA). His proposal, which was part of the Governor’s 2010-2011 Executive Budget, is included in the budget legislation that was sent to the Legislature on Friday.
The funds will be used for enhancements to the licensing system, and in conjunction with the reforms instituted by SLA Chairman Dennis Rosen, will help the agency process applications faster and in a more transparent way. Governor Paterson has charged the SLA to eliminate the backlog by October 2010.
“The State Liquor Authority issues and oversees the beer, wine and liquor licenses which are a critical component of New York’s economy,” Governor Paterson said. “The timely processing of these licenses will ensure that businesses are operating sooner and more profitably, and therefore will be providing valuable jobs to our struggling economy.”
Governor Paterson originally included this funding in his 2010-11 Executive Budget in recognition of the economic benefits of more expeditious processing of license applications and renewals, and the need for SLA to better protect public health and safety. In August 2009, the licensing backlog at the SLA reached 3,001 pending applications. Under the tenure of SLA Chairman Dennis Rosen, who implemented new measures to streamline license processing, the backlog has decreased to 1,162 – a decline of nearly 61 percent.
State Liquor Authority Chairman Dennis Rosen said: “I applaud Governor Paterson for ensuring that these funds would be provided for the SLA. This money will be critical to helping us continue the progress we’ve been making in eliminating the backlog and will help us prevent backlogs from occurring in the future. We have made tremendous progress over the last year in strengthening our relationships with community leaders throughout the State. I am confident that we can build upon those efforts, making sure that transparency is emphasized in a way that helps facilitate licensing decisions.”
In addition to increasing efficiency in processing applications, the SLA will be able to apply system improvements that will give local communities across the State greater access to information regarding pending applications for beer, wine and liquor licenses in their communities.
The SLA is responsible for regulating and enforcing the Alcoholic Beverage Control Law in New York State, which includes licensing entities selling or serving beer, wine and liquor.