Florida Senate Committee Passes Dog Dining Bill

The bill, passed by the state Senate Regulated Industries Committee on Monday, would allow cities to grant restaurants permission to allow dogs inside.

Girl with DogThe bill, passed by the state Senate Regulated Industries Committee on Monday, would allow cities to grant restaurants permission to allow dogs inside.

Dogs may eventually be able to accompany humans to their favorite neighborhood restaurant and sit at an outside table with them in some Florida towns and cities.

A bill that passed the states Senate Regulated Industries Committee on Monday would create a three-year test program to permit cities to grant restaurants special permission to allow dogs.

No city would be required to offer the special exemption from the law that normally bars dogs from restaurants. And no restaurants would be required to let dogs in.

Supporters have acknowledged the issue of dog bites may be a concern for individual restaurant owners, and the legislation would require restaurants to have $1 million worth of liability insurance to be eligible for the exemption.

The bill has two more committee stops before it makes it to the full floor of the Senate for debate. Similar legislation is making its way through the committee process in the Florida House of Representatives.

Posted: March 28, 2006, 5 a.m. EST

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