SACRAMENTO – The California Senate approved legislation from Sen. Bill Dodd, D-Napa to boost his previous relief for struggling restaurants and bars by expanding provisions of his 2021 law allowing the sale and delivery of to-go cocktails.
“Our restaurants and bars were hit hard by the pandemic, and allowing flexibility to sell to-go cocktails has been a lifeline,” Sen. Dodd said. “To ensure a strong recovery and to answer consumer demand, we must expand this successful provision in ways that will make sense and will be beneficial to all. Thanks to my Senate colleagues for seeing the value in this proposal.”
Last year, Gov. Gavin Newsom signed Sen. Dodd’s Senate Bill 389, which allowed the sale of to-go alcoholic beverages as part of take-out restaurant food orders. It came as restaurants nationwide recovered from hundreds of billions of dollars in losses sustained because of lockdowns and social distancing requirements to stop the spread of coronavirus.
This year’s bill, SB 846, expands the previous legislation in important ways, removing the meal requirement to increase options for consumers and business owners. It also extends the carry-out cocktail provision to bars, which also have been hard-hit by the pandemic. In addition, it allows for the delivery of to-go cocktails from both types of businesses. Finally, the bill increases oversight of alcohol delivery by Alcohol Beverage Control to prevent underage drinking.
Co-authors are Assemblymember Rebecca Bauer-Kahan, D-Orinda; Sen. Scott Wiener, D-San Francisco; Assemblymember Laura Friedman, D-Glendale and Assemblymember Eduardo Garcia, D-Coachella.
It was approved by the Senate on a bipartisan 32-0 vote.
“SB 846 restores a pre-existing privilege for restaurants, meets consumer demands, and strengthens public safety protocols for the service of alcohol,” said Matt Sutton, senior vice President of government affairs & public policy for the California Restaurant Association. “At a time when rising food costs, a labor shortage, mounting debt, and supply chain delays are forcing restaurants to reduce operating hours, limit menu offerings, or close altogether Sen. Dodd, has stepped in once again, to help assist California’s restaurant community- and for that we are incredibly grateful.”
Senator Bill Dodd represents the 3rd Senate District, which includes all or portions of Napa, Solano, Yolo, Sonoma, Contra Costa, and Sacramento counties. You can learn more about the district and Senator Dodd at www.sen.ca.gov/dodd.