The General Assembly returned last week to continue its business for the 2020 short session. So far, several notable bills have moved through the legislature, including House Bill 536: Temporary Outdoor Restaurants for Outdoor Seating. This bill would allow private bars and clubs to reopen under specified conditions similar to restaurants currently, with outdoor seating capacity limited to the lesser of 50% of the establishment’s indoor capacity, or 100 customers. House Bill 536 passed both chambers last Thursday, with a 42-5 vote in the Senate, and a 65-53 vote in the House after a contentious floor debate, which led to all but two Democrats voting against the bill. With the partisan split of this bill’s support, it is likely that this bill could be the first veto of the 2020 short session by Democratic Governor Roy Cooper. In a news conference prior to the bill’s passing, Gov. Cooper expressed his disagreement with the reopening of private bars and clubs now. “I believe there will be a time when we can open bars, but that time is not now,” said Cooper. House minority leader Darren Jackson also has shared concerns on the bill, saying that if this bill were to become law, next week there would be a bill to reopen gyms ahead of the executive order, too. The bill has been presented to the Governor where it awaits his approval or veto. Read the full report here.