Wednesday, July 22, 2020

In the News: cocktails to go legislation signed; police chiefs object to police reform drafts in House/Senate

From the Milford Daily News, articles of interest for Franklin:
"Gov. Charlie Baker on Monday afternoon signed a pair of bills that will update the state’s approach to mosquito control and allow restaurants to sell sealed containers of mixed drinks with their takeout and delivery food orders. 
Lawmakers sent Baker those two bills on Thursday, along with a $1 billion supplemental budget that focuses on spending related to the state’s COVID-19 response. That spending bill (H 4808) remains on Baker’s desk, and he has until Sunday to act on it. 
“While many mom and pop establishments have been able to slowly reopen in recent weeks, they still face significant challenges in their efforts to retain employees and pay their bills,” said State Sen. Diana DiZoglio, who filed the legislation. “According to our local, family owned and operated restaurants, these measures could help them generate thousands of dollars a month and would greatly assist them in paying utility bills and rent.” 
The new to-go cocktails law (S 2812) is aimed at helping restaurants generate additional revenue while their operations are restricted amid the COVID-19 crisis. It follows an April law that allowed restaurants to sell beer and wine alongside takeout and delivery, and restaurants will now be able to sell limited quantities of beer, wine and mixed drinks for off-premises consumption through February 2021 or until the COVID-19 state of emergency is lifted, whichever comes later."
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"For years, Massachusetts police chiefs say, they’ve been ignored by state lawmakers. Now, police say legislators are threatening their safety - and the safety of the public — through proposed police reform measures. 
“Law enforcement in Massachusetts is under attack by a liberal element that wants to bring shame (to police officers) that none of us understand,” said Hampden Police Chief Jeff Farnsworth, president of the Massachusetts Police Chiefs Association, on Tuesday. Massachusetts police have been leading the way in model police standards in the United States for years – but those efforts haven’t been acknowledged by legislators, he said. 
“As leaders, we can stand here today and tell you, the legislation will not make us safer,” Farnsworth said. 
Farnsworth was joined by nearly 100 of the state’s 351 police chiefs Tuesday morning in Framingham to criticize two police reform bills that were recently moved by the Senate and House. The chiefs urged Gov. Charlie Baker and state legislators to work with police on the legislation instead of cutting them out of the conversation."
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