State Rep. Bill Reineke (R-Tiffin) voted to support House Bill 674, legislation that will revise and update Ohio’s laws regarding alcohol sales as COVID-19 was detrimental to the bar and restaurant industry. 


During the pandemic, the businesses were only allowed to offer take-out and to-go options for their food and drinks for nearly two months. House Bill 674 gives bars and restaurants the opportunity to swiftly recover from the lost revenue they faced during the pandemic. Reineke spoke on the House floor to the legislation.


“Our local entrepreneurs are suffering immeasurably, through no fault of their own,” said Reineke. “I feel strongly that what has happened to our economy is in no way a form of failure on the part of any of our local businesses, yet they are footing the bill.”


House Bill 674 achieves the following:



  1. Allows local legislative authorities to establish a Designated Outdoor Refreshment Area (DORA) to encourage social distancing and the use of outdoor space to deter from mass gatherings of crowds inside establishments

  2. Grants amnesty for retail permit operators until June 1, 2020

  3. Creates the Beer Clarity Act, which modernizes measures regarding alcohol manufacturing, distribution and sales

  4. Revises the Hours of Sale Law to reduce regulatory burdens and to expand opportunities for increased revenue

  5. Eliminates statutory limitations on Sunday sales of alcohol


Reineke also noted how businesses have still had to meet their financial obligations as they struggle to reopen amid the pandemic.


“In my opinion, this bill allows for these economic partners to have flexibility to make sales and collect revenues in so many different ways,” said Reineke. “The key word here is flexible.  In the face of all these constraints, flexibility is so crucial to independent business.”


The bill passed with a vote of 75-16 and now goes to the Senate for consideration.


 

 
 
 
  
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