March 30, 2023
Contact: Lindsi Mailler
Yesterday, Governor Maura Healey signed a supplemental 2023 budget bill that includes a majority of her proposed “immediate needs” bond bill as well as extensions of pandemic-related authorizations related to public meetings and outdoor dining.
The final bill (H.58) includes the extensions to pandemic-related authorizations that were set to expire this week. The final compromise bill was enacted by the House and Senate on March 23, 2023.
The new law extends to pandemic-related authorizations that were set to expire on March 31 and April 1, thereby:
Allow remote and hybrid meeting options for public bodies through March 31, 2025
Allow remote and hybrid participation options for representative town meetings through March 31, 2025
Permit reduced quorums for open town meetings through March 21, 2025
*Extend the expedited outdoor dining permit process through April 1, 2024
*Extend the ability of restaurants to offer to-go cocktails through April 1, 2024
* Section 19 Chapter 20 Acts of 2021
(b) Notwithstanding chapter 40A of the General Laws, any special permit, variance or other approval issued thereunder or any general or special law to the contrary, from the effective date of this act until April 1, 2024, a city or town may approve a request for expansion of outdoor table service, including in the description of licensed premises as described in subsection (c), or an extension of an earlier granted approval issued under section 4 of the governor’s COVID-19 Order No. 35 or section 1 of the governor’s COVID-19 Order No. 50. Before such approval, the mayor, select board or other chief executive officer, as established by charter or special act, shall establish the process for approving such requests. Such process shall not be required to comply with the notice and publication provisions of section 11 of said chapter 40A. An approval under this section may be exercised immediately upon filing of notice thereof with the city or town clerk, without complying with any otherwise applicable recording or certification requirements.