SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4 News) – Two Utah state lawmakers are asking the governor to temporarily allow curbside pickup and home delivery for beer and cocktails while the state continues to deal with the COVID-19 pandemic.
Senator Derek Kitchen (D- Salt Lake City) and Representative Joel Briscoe (D – Salt Lake City) sent Governor Gary Herbert a letter asking him to use his executive powers to make it easier for Utahns to get their groceries which for some might include beer.
“If we’re encouraging folks to socially distance, to stay home, to order their groceries online and avoid hand-to-hand contact, it makes perfect sense, that we allow them to also receive beer from the grocery store as well,” said Kitchen. “It’s just a kink in our law that needs to be ironed out, that’s preventing people from doing their normal shopping.”
Kitchen and Briscoe said they made the request after an 85-year-old constituent explained that he appreciated having his groceries delivered but would like to order beer as well.
Kitchen, who represents downtown and central city areas of Salt Lake City, said he has looked at ways other businesses and state governments are adapting to the current climate. He believes another adjustment to the state’s liquor laws could help many of the city’s small bars that are struggling during the pandemic.
“We would like to see bars have the ability to provide a cocktail in a secure botte that they can allow their consumers to do curbside pick up and take it home and enjoy,” said Kitchen.
Business owners themselves have expressed the need for flexibility to adapt to the current situation.
Kitchen admits that that is a big policy conversation that the legislature should be discussing but considering the public health crisis and the global pandemic, he would like the governor to take “swift action” and preserve these businesses.
“We need to make sure we have public policy in place that protects the general public but also allows business to innovate and operate in this uncertain time,” said Kitchen.