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Not throwin’ away my shot for a beer: New plan could get Illinoisans a free drink for COVID-19 vaccine


SPRINGFIELD, Ill. - State lawmakers could soon approve a new plan to help more people get the COVID-19 vaccine.

Rep. Mike Zalewski (D-Riverside) says his proposal could allow bars and taverns to give customers a free beer or another alcoholic drink if they show proof that they received a COVID-19 shot. As the number of people getting vaccinated slowed down over recent weeks, Zalewski wanted to create a new incentive for more people to get their shots.

The sponsor is also working with the Illinois Liquor Control Commission to file an emergency rule or guidance to allow bars to do this.

"We really do think this will be managed by the licensees," Zalewski explained. "But, we know that some are uncomfortable with not doing things before the Liquor Control Commission opines. So, we want them to be able to do that too."

He stressed this won't create "COVID-19 happy hours" since the bill only allows a promotion with one free drink.

The proposal passed unanimously out of the House Executive Committee Thursday. It now heads to the House floor for debate.

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Mike Miletich

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