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Baker Files Bill To Extend Outdoor Dining Permits, Other Emergency Orders

BOSTON (CBS) – Governor Charlie Baker is filing a bill Tuesday to extend some measures that are set to expire June 15 when the COVID-19 State of Emergency ends in Massachusetts.

One of his proposals would give cities and towns the authority to extend special permits for restaurants that want to offer outdoor dining through November 29. Unless there's an extension, special permits will expire in August, 60 days after the end of the State of Emergency.

Another part of the legislation would continue billing protections for coronavirus patients until January 1, 2022. The current executive order prevents medical providers from billing patients for COVID-related emergency and inpatient services for charges above those paid by their insurance.

Baker's bill would also allow the temporary suspension of certain open meeting law requirements to continue. That would allow public meetings to continue remotely if they want until September 1.

"When the State of Emergency ends, these orders will expire, and temporarily extending these measures will allow for time to transition. Extending these measures, which were instituted by executive order, requires legislation," Baker's office said in a statement Tuesday.

Most restrictions in Massachusetts will end this Saturday, May 29.

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