Wednesday, August 29, 2012
Restaurant and business group names "Great 8'

BOSTON — A trade group that advocates for the interests of restaurants in Massachusetts named its "Great 8" legislators for the 2011-2012 session, selecting four Senate Democrats and four House Republicans.

The Restaurant and Business Alliance made its picks based on the activity of legislators on the alliance's agenda items and their responses to a survey sent to all legislators.

The legislators recognized Tuesday are Sens. Anthony Petruccelli (D-East Boston), Michael Moore (D-Worcester), James Timilty (D-Walpole), Brian Joyce (D-Milton) and Reps. Keiko Orrall (R-Lakeville), Shaunna O'Connell (R-Taunton), Ryan Fattman (R-Sutton), and Kevin Kuros (R-Uxbridge).

Alliance officials said the recognized legislators worked on a law to allow restaurants to host educational dinners for doctors, on efforts to resist steep vending machine fee increases, and on unemployment insurance and health insurance reforms aimed at helping small businesses.

Alliance officials say they plan to push again in 2013 for a meals tax holiday bill, which would suspend the 6.25 percent state meals tax for Sunday through Thursday in March or October to spur restaurant activity, and on a liability proposal to facilitate the flow of surplus food from restaurants to food pantries