Gov. Charlie Baker signed a $1.6 billion fiscal 2022 supplemental budget on April 1 that includes $100 million for repairing winter damage to local roads and a one-year extension of rules for expanded outdoor dining and takeout cocktails.

An executive order issued in response to the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020 allowed municipalities to use an expedited process to approve temporary permits for new or expanded outdoor dining and alcohol service. Those rules were due to expire on April 1, but are now extended through April 1, 2023.

The law also extends, through April 1, 2023, an emergency provision allowing restaurants to sell beer, wine and cocktails to go. That provision was due to expire on May 1.

Most of the spending law is dedicated to COVID-19 pandemic response and recovery efforts, including expanded testing, vaccination sites and workforce development.

The $100 million in winter road recovery funds may be used for the rehabilitation, reconstruction, resurfacing or preservation of local roads. The funds may also be used to repair or replace traffic control devices, signage, guardrails, and storm grates, as well as road striping or painting.

The law did not include two other municipal priorities that were in the original version of the bill, filed by Baker in February: a $100 million one-time supplemental appropriation for the Chapter 90 local road and bridge program, and $150 million for environmental initiatives, including the Municipal Vulnerability Preparedness Program.

The Legislature had sent a final bill (H. 4578) to the governor on March 31.

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