NATIONAL NEWS

New York bill could interfere with Chick-fil-A’s long-standing policy to close Sundays

Dec 22, 2023, 6:04 AM

FILE: Chick-fil-A restaurant. (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)...

FILE: Chick-fil-A restaurant. (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)

(Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — New York lawmakers have introduced a bill that would require restaurants in state highway system rest areas to operate seven days a week, a measure apparently aimed at interfering with a policy at the fast food chain Chick-fil-A of staying closed on Sundays.

The bill, introduced last week, is yet another salvo in a yearslong political battle involving the company, whose late founder Truett Cathy infused its business practices with his conservative Christian values.

Loved by many for its chicken sandwiches, but disliked by others over its founder’s opposition to same-sex marriage, Chick-fil-A has always kept its locations closed on Sundays so employees can enjoy time with their families and “worship if they choose,” according to the company’s website.

While the bill, if passed, would apply to all restaurants, Chick-fil-A is mentioned by name in some written legislative materials explaining the justification for the proposed law.

State Assemblymember Tony Simone, the Democrat who introduced the bill, said it is meant to give travelers in New York a variety of food options, including healthy foods, at rest stops, rather than an effort to eventually push Chick-fil-A out.

“Look, if you want to eat fried chicken while traveling over the holidays, then Chick-fil-A should be open on Sundays,” Simone said.

The bill wouldn’t immediately apply to restaurants currently operating — meaning the impact on existing Chick-fil-A locations would be limited — but would affect all future contracts for food concessions at transportation facilities owned by the state and the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey. It would exclude temporary concessions, like farmer’s markets.

Email and phone messages left for Chick-fil-A spokespeople were not immediately returned.

Chick-fil-A became the subject of boycotts in 2012 over its deep financial support of groups opposing the legalization of same-sex marriage. Over the years the chain, which operates more than 3,000 restaurants, scaled back that financial support before ending it in 2019.

In the past, airports in Buffalo and San Antonio, Texas, have blocked Chick-fil-A from opening at their sites. Some college campuses have also banned the chain.

Some conservative lawmakers, meanwhile, rallied behind the company. Texas Gov. Greg Abbott, a Republican, signed a bill in 2019 in defense of Chick-fil-A and religious freedom.

The New York bill’s introduction was prompted by a redevelopment project underway at the New York State Thruway Authority’s 27 service areas. Through the project, 23 of service area restaurant buildings will be rebuilt, with significant renovations on the remaining four.

When the redevelopment project is complete, Chick-fil-A will operate in 10 service areas on the Thruway, which all have at least one other food option and a convenience store open seven days a week.

Retail company Applegreen recently entered into a 33-year contract with state’s Thruway Authority and leases space to restaurants under that agreement, according to Authority spokesperson Jennifer Givner. Chick-fil-A will be able to operate within their normal hours under that contract.

___

Maysoon Khan is a corps member for the Associated Press/Report for America Statehouse News Initiative. Report for America is a nonprofit national service program that places journalists in local newsrooms to report on undercovered issues.

KSL 5 TV Live

National News

The defendants are accused of stealing software used to train Apache helicopter pilots....

Haley Britzky and Sharif Paget, CNN

2 National Guardsmen killed after military helicopter crash in Mississippi

Two National Guard members died after a helicopter crashed Friday afternoon during a training flight in northeast Mississippi.

28 minutes ago

FILE - In this Tuesday, Oct. 2, 2018 photo, containers holding frozen embryos and sperm are stored ...

Associated Press

Facing backlash over IVF ruling, Alabama lawmakers look for a fix

Lawmakers began scrambling for ways to protect Alabama in vitro fertilization services after multiple providers paused services in the wake of a state Supreme Court ruling that frozen embryos could be considered children under a state law.

4 hours ago

Beguiling Joshua trees and intriguing rock formations helped draw millions of vistoris to Joshua Tr...

Forrest Brown, CNN

The most visited National Park Service sites in 2023 are …

See what Utah National Park proved to be the most popular in 2023.

5 hours ago

FILE - The residence where a former funeral home owner kept a deceased women's body in a hearse for...

Associated Press

A former funeral home owner has been arrested after a corpse lay in a hearse for 2 years

A former funeral home owner accused of hiding a woman's corpse in the back of a hearse for two years and hoarding the cremated remains of at least 30 people has been arrested, authorities said.

6 hours ago

FILE: The University of Wyoming campus sign with the Wyoming Union in the background Friday March 2...

Mead Gruver

Highway crash in Colorado kills three University of Wyoming swimmers

A single-vehicle wreck on a highway in northern Colorado killed three members of the University of Wyoming swimming and diving team.

11 hours ago

This image released by the U.S. Department of Justice in an FBI affidavit filed in U.S. District Co...

Denise Lavoie and Matthew Barakat, Associated Press

4 charged in transporting suspected Iranian-made weapons. Two SEALs died in intercepting the ship

Four foreign nationals have been charged with transporting suspected Iranian-made weapons after U.S. naval forces interdicted a vessel in the Arabian Sea last month.

1 day ago

Sponsored Articles

Modern chandelier hanging from a white slanted ceiling with windows in the backgruond...

Lighting Design

Light Up Your Home With These Top Lighting Trends for 2024

Check out the latest lighting design trends for 2024 and tips on how you can incorporate them into your home.

Technician woman fixing hardware of desktop computer. Close up....

PC Laptops

Tips for Hassle-Free Computer Repairs

Experiencing a glitch in your computer can be frustrating, but with these tips you can have your computer repaired without the stress.

Close up of finger on keyboard button with number 11 logo...

PC Laptops

7 Reasons Why You Should Upgrade Your Laptop to Windows 11

Explore the benefits of upgrading to Windows 11 for a smoother, more secure, and feature-packed computing experience.

Stylish room interior with beautiful Christmas tree and decorative fireplace...

Lighting Design

Create a Festive Home with Our Easy-to-Follow Holiday Prep Guide

Get ready for festive celebrations! Discover expert tips to prepare your home for the holidays, creating a warm and welcoming atmosphere for unforgettable moments.

Battery low message on mobile device screen. Internet and technology concept...

PC Laptops

9 Tips to Get More Power Out of Your Laptop Battery

Get more power out of your laptop battery and help it last longer by implementing some of these tips from our guide.

Users display warnings about the use of artificial intelligence (AI), access to malicious software ...

Les Olson

How to Stay Safe from Cybersecurity Threats

Read our tips for reading for how to respond to rising cybersecurity threats in 2023 and beyond to keep yourself and your company safe.

New York bill could interfere with Chick-fil-A’s long-standing policy to close Sundays