Beacon Hill lawmakers finally agreed yesterday to allow municipalities to continue holding remote public meetings and offer an expedited outdoor dining permit process.
They also agreed (on the eve of National Cocktail Day, turns out) to allow restaurants to continue offering mixed drinks, beer, and wine for both take-out and delivery meals.
All three provisions were set to expire one week from today.
Pending Gov. Maura Healey’s expected signature, al fresco dining, and take-out drinks will be extended until April 1, 2024, and remote meetings for two more years.
I'll bet you a Cloud Candy to-go that means our cities, towns, and restaurants will have to wait with white knuckles until the rules are thisclose to expiring again before there's yet another extension for provisions that should be permanent by now.
Seriously. I get that some folks have concerns about alcohol abuse or underage drinking. Others don't like outdoor dining because it takes up parking spaces, generates noise, or enables people other than them to have fun.
But what possible reason can there be for not making remote meetings permanent? And why does everything on Beacon Hill have to be resolved at the last minute?