Gov. Cooper vetoes bill that would allow bars to reopen for outdoor service

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North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper speaks during a briefing at the Emergency Operations Center in Raleigh, N.C., Tuesday, June 2, 2020. (Ethan Hyman/The News & Observer via AP)

North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper speaks during a briefing at the Emergency Operations Center in Raleigh, N.C., Tuesday, June 2, 2020. (Ethan Hyman/The News & Observer via AP)

Gov. Roy Cooper has vetoed the bill allowing bars and wineries to reopen with an outdoor option.

“State and local government leaders must be able to act quickly during the COVID-19 emergency to prevent a surge in cases that could overwhelm hospitals and harm the public. House Bill 536 would limit the ability of leaders to respond quickly to COVID-19 and hamper the health and safety of every North Carolinian.”

Both the state senate and state house passed the bill that would allow bars, which are closed as part of the phased reopening to open up outside and at half capacity.

“What I’m trying to do is give a lifeline to businesses that have been crippled from COVID while doing it in a  responsible manner,” said Senator Rick Gunn.

Gunn sponsored the legislation, but it was already known that it was likely the Governor would veto it.

The North Carolina Bar and Tavern Association planned to file a lawsuit against the state if they could not reopen. The organization says they are being discriminated against. Restaurants with bars can open and so can breweries, so they’re wondering why they can’t.

READ H.B. 536: Temp Outdoor Restaurants for Outdoor Seating

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