Boston Herald

Gov feels ‘pressure’ to pass pandemic policy extensions

- By Rick Sobey State House News Service contribute­d to this report.

As the coronaviru­s state of emergency expires at 12:01 a.m. today, Gov. Charlie Baker said he’s feeling the public’s “pressure” to pass popular pandemic policy extensions.

Some of those policies that people have enjoyed during the last year-plus include expanded outdoor dining and to-go cocktails.

“I think these are things people are going to want to see continue on a go-forward basis,” Baker said during a press conference at Bridgewate­r State University on Monday.

“I think that’s part of the reason why both me and the Legislatur­e feel a certain amount of pressure to either get some of these resolved by midnight tonight,” the governor added, “Or to have legislatio­n passed that would extend them until some point in time when the Legislatur­e could have a more formal conversati­on about what they want to do moving forward.”

It did not appear the Legislatur­e would be sending Baker a bill before midnight, as the House and Senate adjourned for the day without finishing the pandemic policy extensions.

Both the House and Senate will be back in session today.

Baker on Monday highlighte­d the “enormously popular” outdoor dining program.

“You combine that with the Shared Streets program and the Complete Streets program, which makes it possible for communitie­s to create a different kind of downtown in many cases that is far more amenable to not just dining outside, but also walking and biking and other things like that,” he said.

The governor also said he’d like to see the pandemic policy extension legislatio­n address town meetings.

“Since we are still in the process of having open meetings, town meetings,” Baker said. “Those are sort of the fundamenta­l part of state and local government.

“There’s a lot of that activity going on every day, and people have made assumption­s about how they think that’s going to work,” he added. “And I would like to see that make it through the process.”

 ?? MATT STOnE / HERAlD STAff filE ?? STICKING AROUND? Diners eat outdoors at Saltie Girl on Newbury Street on May 3.
MATT STOnE / HERAlD STAff filE STICKING AROUND? Diners eat outdoors at Saltie Girl on Newbury Street on May 3.

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