A package of bills to help ease the burdens of restaurants trying to navigate COVID-19 regulations and restrictions has been approved by the Assembly.
A package of bills sponsored by the LD10 lawmakers to help ease the burdens of restaurants trying to navigate COVID-19 regulations and restrictions was advanced by the Assembly. (FB/Morristown Partnership)
Senator Jim Holzapfel and Assemblymen Greg McGuckin and John Catalano are co-sponsors of these bills that allow food and beverage establishments to better protect their employees and customers while remaining open for business.
“The restaurant and bar industry has been forced to make drastic changes to comply with Governor Murphy’s endless executive orders in order to stay afloat,” stated Senator Holzapfel. “We believe these bills will provide the necessary tools to keep their doors open while maintaining a safe environment for their customers and staff. “
The package of bills include legislation to allow banquet and wedding venues to operate at a specific capacity indoors (A-5133), eases restrictions on the use of tents (A-5139) and creates standards for the use of heaters and tents for outdoor dining during the winter months (A-5135). In addition, bill A-5136 provides flexibility for indoor dining in restaurants with a smaller footprint.
“All of these bills are necessary for restaurants to survive under the restrictions enforced by the Governor during this pandemic,” added Assemblyman McGuckin. “Each piece of legislation provides a pathway for these establishments to operate at a higher limit while being under compliance. This industry has already lost so much revenue over the past year. They deserve a fighting chance in the months going forward.”
The economic impact of the pandemic continues to wreak havoc on the industry which still being forced to operate at 50% capacity. Without any word from the Governor’s Administration on when restaurants and bars can fully reopen, the 10th District Legislators believe these bills can provide some relief to an already gutted industry.
“With this bill package we hope to combat the economic devastation caused across the board by the relentless shutdowns and restrictions,” said Assemblyman Catalano. “Restaurant and bar owners want more stability and the opportunity to serve their communities without fear of breaking the law. We can help business owners find a way to plan ahead when it comes to safely serving customers without sacrificing potential revenue. ”
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