Governor signs bipartisan MacEwen bill aimed at helping hospitality industry navigate ongoing COVID challenges

A bill sponsored by Rep. Drew MacEwen to help businesses in the hospitality industry mitigate the economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic has been signed into law by Gov. Jay Inslee.

House Bill 1480 will temporarily codify into law a number of curbside, takeout and delivery privileges granted to liquor licensees by the state's Liquor and Cannabis Board. Among other temporary privileges, certain licensees may continue selling factory-sealed bottles and cans of beer, wine, and spirits to customers in combination with the sale of to-go food or by delivery with a food order.

Under the bill, the following liquor licensees may continue selling alcohol products at retail for curbside, takeout or delivery:

  • beer and wine restaurants;
  • spirits, beer, and wine restaurants;
  • taverns;
  • domestic wineries;
  • domestic breweries and microbreweries;
  • distilleries;
  • snack bars;
  • nonprofit arts licensees; and
  • caterers.

All privileges will expire on July 1, 2023.

MacEwen, R-Union, who serves as the ranking Republican on the House Commerce and Gaming Committee, says his bill will help struggling businesses stay afloat as the coronavirus pandemic continues.

“The coronavirus pandemic has created tremendous financial hardship for thousands of leisure and hospitality businesses across our state. Many of these businesses have been struggling to keep their doors open, which is why this bill is so critical,” said MacEwen. “Temporarily extending curbside, takeout and delivery privileges for our liquor licensees is just one way we can help them stay afloat. I am grateful for the bipartisan support this bill has received throughout the process, from its introduction to its approval on the House and Senate floors. As the pandemic continues, we must continue working together to pass sound legislation that will ensure our businesses can remain open and carry on as staples in our communities.”

The 2021 legislative session is scheduled to adjourn April 25.


Washington State House Republican Communications