BOSTON – A bill was recently passed by the Massachusetts House of Representatives that, among other things, looks to keep local governments running and provide aid to local restaurants and bars during the COVID-19 outbreak.
The bill also would extend the deadline to file the state income tax to July 15, as opposed to April 15.
House Bill 4598 would allow for more flexibility in completing town meetings and finalizing municipal budgets by allowing municipalities to conduct town meeting business past the June 30 deadline and use interim budgets every month.
“It’s something that the state is allowed to do with our budget, so I think it’s appropriate that the towns, in light of the virus situation, have the same opportunity to be able to do the same thing,” said 2nd Barnstable District State Representative Will Crocker.
The bill also would let bars and restaurants with liquor licenses accept take-out orders of up to 192 ounces of beer and 1.5 liters of wine per transaction. All take-out orders for alcohol must be placed on or before midnight.
The bill will now head to the State Senate.
Crocker expressed confidence that local senators, such as Cape & Islands State Senator Julian Cyr, will be able to get the bill passed.
“I know that he is concerned about the municipal budgets in Barnstable and Yarmouth,” he said, “and I know that he will work with his legislative leaders to be able to get this done in the Senate as fast as it possibly can there.”
For more information on COVID-19, visit the Massachusetts Department of Public Health’s website by clicking here.