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House passes bill to extend outdoor dining for CT restaurants

The bill will allow restaurants to operate under the relaxed rules through March 31, 2022.

HARTFORD, Conn. — Editor's Note: Video above aired on March 19, 2021. 

The Connecticut House of Representatives passed a bill that will codify Gov. Lamont's executive order that relaxed outdoor dining at restaurants and allow businesses to provide expanded service to customers outside. 

House Bill 6610 passed the House on a 141-0 vote and will now move to the Senate. If it passes, the legislation would permit restaurants to work under the relaxed rules through March 31, 2022.  

Gov. Lamont praised the House passing the bill and said it would be great for Connecticut towns. 

“These relaxed rules could be the start of a new Connecticut tradition that increases activity in our towns,” Governor Lamont said. “One positive outcome of this unfortunate pandemic has been that we’ve been thinking about new, creative ways to offer activities outdoors, including at restaurants. Expanded outdoor dining has created a vibrancy in many of our neighborhoods in ways that we haven’t seen before, all while supporting locally-owned small businesses. This is a great bill, and I urge the Senate to pass it so that I can sign it into law.”

The Connecticut Restaurant Association also praised the State House in passing the bill.

“The two months when Connecticut shut down dining entirely were some of the darkest days ever faced by our industry,” said Dan Meiser, the Chairman of the Connecticut Restaurant Association.  “Thankfully, many local restaurants were eventually able to use outdoor dining as a tool to stay in business and keep people employed. Collectively we worked with state and local officials to change parking lots, sidewalks, and even roads into dining areas. This should continue in 2021 so that our industry can plan ahead, keep our doors open, and continue on the long road towards recovery to the benefit of local economies throughout Connecticut.”

Gov Lamont filed a separate bill to "streamline" the process for municipalities to allowed outdoor dining in their towns. That bill is House Bill 6448 and is currently pending in the Planning & Development Committee. 


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