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Wednesday, Sep 28, 2022
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Outdoor Dining Legislation Moves Forward

Legislation to expand outdoor dining in the state was approved by the California Senate Health Committee Wednesday. Assembly Bill 61, which would provide regulatory flexibility to restaurants still navigating the impacts of COVID-19, will go into effect immediately if signed by Gov. Gavin Newsom.AB 61 would temporarily waive requirements for fully enclosed kitchen and service areas, extend existing Department of Alcohol Beverage Control (ABC) regulatory relief and provide ABC with flexibility and discretion to allow for changes to existing alcohol licenses. The requirements would be waived for periods between six months and two years.“Neighborhood restaurants are the backbone of communities across California, but too many are barely hanging on by a thread,” Assemblymember Jesse Gabriel, the bill’s author who represents the 45th District in the western San Fernando Valley, said in a statement. “Outdoor dining offers a lifeline that can help keep these establishments afloat, but we must do more to assist them during these challenging times.”While the bill would extend temporary relief from ABC regulations, the measures protecting outdoor dining may be pursued beyond the 2024 expiration of AB 61."The changes we made to support outdoor dining during the pandemic saved countless jobs and businesses, and Angelenos have been clear that they want to see these improvements stay in place for good,” L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti said in a statement. “I am proud to support Assemblymember Gabriel's legislation that will enable us to make outdoor dining a permanent feature in Los Angeles and across the state."

Katherine Tangalakis-Lippert
Katherine Tangalakis-Lippert
Katherine Tangalakis-Lippert is a Los Angeles-based reporter covering retail, hospitality and philanthropy for the San Fernando Valley Business Journal. In addition to her current beat, she is particularly interested in criminal justice topics, health and science stories and investigative journalism. She received her AA in Humanities from Moorpark College in 2016, her BA in Communication from Cal Lutheran University in 2019 and followed it up with a MA in Specialized Journalism from USC in the summer of 2020. Through her work, Katherine aspires to help strengthen the fragile trust between members of the media and the public.
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