KINGSTON (June 16, 2021) – State Representative Kathleen LaNatra (D – Kingston), along with her colleagues in the Massachusetts Legislature, passed legislation on Tuesday evening that extends numerous popular provisions adopted during the State of Emergency. The State of Emergency, which was put in place by Governor Baker on March 10, 2020 in response to the pandemic, came to an end on June 15th.
The legislation, which passed both the House and Senate, paves the way for continued remote meetings of public bodies until April 20, 2022, as well as continued remote permission for representative town meetings, nonprofit member meetings, notary services and reverse-mortgage loan counseling. It also included certain eviction protections, flexibilities for assisted living residences, and allowed for medical assistants, podiatrists, phlebotomists, and certain military personnel to administer COVID-19 vaccines.
The House and Senate were able to reach a compromise late on Tuesday afternoon regarding numerous measures that effects restaurants in the Commonwealth.
The legislation permits to-go beer, wine and cocktail sales through May 1, 2022, so long as the takeout and delivery drinks are sold at the same price as those beverages consumed on-site. Special permits for expanded outdoor dining will be valid until April 1, 2022, avoiding an original expiration date of 60 days after the end of the State of Emergency.
“While we are certainly nearing the end of this difficult pandemic, it is not over yet, and it was crucial that we extended some protections for the residents of the Commonwealth,” said Rep. Kathy LaNatra (D – Kingston). “I was thrilled to support this important piece of legislation and see it passed.
Ensuring that our restaurants are able to take full advantage of the economic recovery by keeping outdoor dining and take-out beer, wine, and cocktails. While many are comfortable meeting in-person, many members of town bodies and people who want to attend are not, so this was an important step to keeping people safe.”
The legislation was signed by the Governor on Wednesday.