The Bulletin Board

Legislation on outdoor dining among bills signed by Sununu

By: - July 12, 2021 5:31 pm
Gov. Sununu outside last week

“The citizens of this state are counting on us to do better,” Gov. Chris Sununu said of the congressional maps in a statement Thursday. (Courtesy)

New Hampshire restaurants will be allowed to continue to set up tables in parking lots, side streets, and sidewalks this summer and beyond after Gov. Chris Sununu signed a bill cementing certain emergency COVID-19 executive orders into law.

Under Senate Bill 155, an omnibus bill, restaurants “may expand into a shared space, such as a sidewalk or street,” provided they have sign-off from local officials. 

And Senate Bill 66, also signed into law by Sununu last week, allows restaurants and bars to continue offering takeout and delivery alcohol – a pandemic benefit ordered into law by Sununu after restaurants and bars were closed in March 2020. 

In order to continue allowing delivery and takeout, bars and restaurants will need to pay $250 a year in licensing fees to the New Hampshire Liquor Commission, the law states. 

“The flexibility given to restaurants and their customers to get beer and wine with their takeout order was a big hit during COVID,” Sununu said. “We all appreciate the Legislature making these opportunities permanent for New Hampshire.”

The newly codified provisions are among several of Sununu’s executive orders that will continue after the governor ended New Hampshire’s state of emergency in June. 

SB 155 also puts into statute an executive order allowing non-licensed people to assist nurses in long-term care facilities in order to address worker shortages. 

The new category of workers, known as “temporary health partners,” must undergo at least eight hours of training and work under the supervision of a licensed registered nurse or licensed practical nurse. Now, the pandemic-era position has been made permanent.

Additionally, SB 155 allows the Office of Professional License and Certification to continue issuing “emergency licenses” to allow medical professionals who were licensed within the last three years and are in good standing to be re-licensed without completing continuing education. 

Sununu called the extension of the measures “a big boost for our health care workforce.”

The governor signed 14 other bills last week, including:

  • HB 330, which allows “in-play” sports betting – live bets placed in the middle of sporting event – on top of pre-game betting, which is already authorized;
  • HB 523, which requires those who register to vote and don’t have identification to be photographed by election officials;
  • SB 14, which allows the state’s liquor commission to register as a direct shipper of alcohol and sell liquor out of state;
  • HB 282, which allows a public school district to send students and tuition funding to a private religious school;
  • SB 84, which opens up village district governing bodies to the right-to-know law;
  • SB 162, which removes a restriction that forced therapeutic cannabis patients to buy cannabis only from the dispensary where they are registered, and 
  • SB 51, which exempts restaurants from needing licenses to sell lobster meat they purchased from a licensed wholesaler.

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Ethan DeWitt
Ethan DeWitt

Ethan DeWitt is the New Hampshire Bulletin’s education reporter. Previously, he worked as the New Hampshire State House reporter for the Concord Monitor, covering the state, the Legislature, and the New Hampshire presidential primary. A Westmoreland native, Ethan started his career as the politics and health care reporter at the Keene Sentinel.