Mass. Senate Approves Amendment To Bring Back Happy Hour

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BOSTON (WBZ NewsRadio) — The Massachusetts State Senate has approved an amendment that would bring back Happy Hour.

The amendment was filed by Sen. Julian Cyr (D-Truro) and would allow any city or town's legislative body to vote to allow the sale of discounted alcoholic beverages at bars and restaurants during specific hours. Drink discounts would also not be allowed after 10 p.m.

The amendment is part of a larger $4.57 billion economic development bill that the Senate approved in a late night vote Thursday. The spending package includes $501 million in comprehensive tax relief for lower-and middle-income families, children, seniors, and renters and $510 million in one-time payments to middle-income filers.

The proposal still needs to clear a few hurdles before it can become a reality. It would have to make it past a conference committee, where the House and Senate will negotiate between their respective economic development bills. Then it would have to be signed into law by Gov. Charlie Baker, who has been outspoken against reinstating Happy Hour in Massachusetts due to the risk of increasing drunk-driving incidents.

Happy Hour has been banned in Massachusetts since 1984. Legislative efforts to end the ban back in February did not come to fruition.

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