Ohio Senate panel discusses bill allowing pets at restaurant patios

CLEVELAND, OH (WOIO) - Lawmakers in Columbus are closer to passing a bill allowing pets at a restaurant's outdoor space.

The bill was recently introduced to Ohio Senate Health, Human Services, and Medicaid Committee. It would let restaurant owners decide if pets would be allowed on outdoor patios.

According to Ohio Rep. Laura Lanese's testimony, the proposed legislation is important because:

First, it allows Ohio restaurants and bars to make business decisions without the unnecessary interference from the state regulatory arm. Second, it encourages patrons and tourists to spend more money in Ohio. And finally, it responds to an overwhelming request from our constituents to be more pet-friendly.

Currently, pets are not allowed at places that serve food. The law is in place as an effort to prevent the pets from contaminating food.

The bill was introduced to the Senate panel on May 15 and discussed again during a May 22 session.

The Ohio House of Representatives already passed a similar proposal in April. The bill would then head to the Ohio floor and governor's office for final passage.

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