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Delaware Lawmakers Consider Restaurant/Pet Law

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DOVER, Del. (AP) - Delaware lawmakers have introduced a bill authorizing restaurants and beer gardens to allow pets in outdoor seating areas.

The bill introduced last week was prompted by a public reminder from state health officials last month that there is a regulation prohibiting pets in restaurants, including patio areas. Officials have acknowledged, however, that the regulation has not been strictly enforced.

The regulation came as a surprise to Democratic House Speaker Pete Schwartzkopf of Rehoboth Beach, a popular beach town where residents and visitors often take their dogs with them when grabbing an outdoor bite.

Schwartzkopf introduced a bipartisan bill that allows owners of food establishments and beer gardens to permit leashed dogs in outdoor areas.

Don Rush is the News Director at Delmarva Public Media. An award-winning journalist, Don reports major local issues of the day, from sea level rise, to urban development, to the changing demographics of Delmarva.