As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to grip the restaurant industry, Speaker of the House Nicholas A. Mattiello (D-Dist. 15, Cranston) has introduced  legislation that will 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 at 4 p.m. to hear testimony on the bill (2020-H 8130). Speaker Mattiello worked collaboratively on the issue with the hospitality industry and Gov. Gina Raimondo in March.

“Alcohol to go has proven to be popular with consumers and very helpful to restaurants during the pandemic,” said Speaker Mattiello. “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, which would expire on Dec. 31, 2021, would allow those 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.

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The legislation is co-sponsored by Representatives Bernard A. Hawkins (D-Dist. 53, Smithfield, Glocester), Lauren H. Carson (D-Dist. 75, Newport), Justine A. Caldwell (D-Dist. 30, East Greenwich, West Greenwich) and Alex D. Marszalkowski (D-Dist. 52, Cumberland).

“I thank the co-sponsors for working with me on this issue and for their commitment to helping the restaurant and hospitality industry,” added Speaker Mattiello.