As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to impact the restaurant industry, Speaker of the House Nicholas Mattiello has introduced legislation that would allow restaurants to continue the practice of selling alcohol with takeout orders through the end of 2021.
The House Finance Committee is scheduled to meet Wednesday, Sept. 23, at 4 p.m. to hear testimony on the bill. Mattiello said he worked on the issue with the hospitality industry and Gov. Gina Raimondo in March, according to a release.
“Alcohol to go has proven to be popular with consumers and very helpful to restaurants during the pandemic,” said Mattiello in a statement. “I look forward to extending this practice through the end of 2021, as it was set to expire at the end of this year. I believe this bill will continue to assist restaurants during these very difficult times.”
The bill would allow restaurants with Class B licenses to sell up to two bottles of wine, 144 ounces of beer and mixed drinks in original factory-sealed containers with takeout orders. It would also allow 144 ounces of draft beer or 72 ounces of mixed drinks in growlers, bottles or other sealed containers.
The legislation is co-sponsored by Representatives Bernard Hawkins, of District 53, Smithfield, Glocester; Lauren Carson, District 75, Newport; Justine Caldwell, District 30, East Greenwich, West Greenwich; and Alex Marszalkowski, of District 52, Cumberland. All four are facing challenges to their seats in the November election.