State House bill would allow bars to reward vaccinated patrons with a free drink

https://ift.tt/3tG57Y7

“A shot and a beer” could get a whole new meaning in Illinois bars.

Taverns across the state would be able to reward patrons who can prove they got a shot of the COVID-19 vaccine with a free beer — or other alcoholic beverage — under a bill introduced by a suburban state legislator.

But don’t look for “COVID-19 Happy Hours.”

State Rep. Mike Zalewski’s bill would limit the promotions to one free alcoholic beverage with proof of inoculation to “incentivize vaccinations at this point.”

“It feels like we’ve reached this point where we’ve reached those who are vaccine hesitant — this is just one effort to try to do that,” Zalewski said. “This is just one effort to try to do that. It feels like it may be effective, based on what we’ve seen from other states.”

The Riverside Democrat said the bill is “light hearted” but he does think it could have a positive impact.



State Rep. Mike Zalewski, D-Riverside, shown during debate on the House floor at the Bank of Springfield Center in January.


State Rep. Mike Zalewski, D-Riverside, shown during debate on the House floor at the Bank of Springfield Center in January.
Blueroomstream.com

The bill “provides that a retail licensee may provide a single drink of alcoholic liquor at no charge to a customer as part of a publicly advertised promotion to encourage participation in any COVID-19 vaccination program if the customer provides proof of receiving a COVID-19 vaccine.”

Social media gave Zalewski the idea. New Jersey was cited as a good example, though there are other states that have enacted a “shot and a beer” policy, Zalewski said.



George Ripley, 72, of Washington, holds up his free beer after receiving the J & J COVID-19 vaccine shot last week at the Kennedy Center in Washington.


George Ripley, 72, of Washington, holds up his free beer after receiving the J & J COVID-19 vaccine shot last week at the Kennedy Center in Washington.
Jacquelyn Martin/AP file

The bar or tavern patrons go to will likely be responsible for enforcing how they determine vaccination status, but Zalewski said the cards state residents received showing they’d been given doses of the vaccine might be enough to qualify for a free drink.

The state legislator said he hasn’t heard from opponents yet on the legislation but said he’s open to discussion.

He’s now working on finding the right bill, or “vehicle,” to add it to, Zalewski said. He’s hopeful the General Assembly will pass the bill this session and said it would “be nice to have it for the summer.”

Feeds,News,Chi ST 2

via Chicago Sun-Times – All

May 11, 2021 at 10:35PM

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s