GA approves outdoor dining program to 2024, awaits McKee’s signature

A bill extending the state’s Take It Outside program through 2024 cleared the Senate Tuesday and now awaits Gov. Daniel J. McKee’s signature. The Take it Outside program imposes a moratorium on some local ordinances that prohibited outdoor dining, allowing more restaurants around the state to serve customers outdoors. / PBN FILE PHOTO/MICHAEL SALERNO

PROVIDENCE – The state’s “Take it Outside” program is being extended into 2024. 

A bill extending the program through Feb. 15, 2024, that was created during the COVID-19 pandemic cleared the R.I. Senate Tuesday and now awaits Gov. Daniel J. McKee’s signature. 

“The take it outside campaign has proven to be very popular with residents, tourists and business owners alike,” said Rep. Carol Hagan McEntee, D-South Kingstown, who introduced the Senate bill with Sen. Alana DiMario, D-Narragansett, in a statement. “With confusing zoning ordinances that vary from town to town, the process of providing outdoor dining can be costly and overly burdensome on small businesses.  

“Passing this bill provides a window of relief while Senator DiMario and I work with all the stakeholders, including the hospitality association, the league of cities and towns, and individual business owners, to find a long-term solution to keep outdoor dining going strong.” 

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The Take it Outside program imposes a moratorium on some local ordinances that prohibited outdoor dining, allowing more restaurants around the state to serve customers outdoors.  

That moratorium was scheduled to end on April 1. 

The bill extending the program was passed in the Senate 36-0. The legislation cleared the House on March 16. 

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