- Associated Press - Tuesday, June 16, 2015

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) - Dogs could soon be allowed to join their owners in the outdoor dining areas of restaurants in New York state under a measure passed by state lawmakers.

The so-called ‘dining with dogs’ bill passed the Assembly Tuesday after passing the Senate last month. It now heads to Gov. Andrew Cuomo for a signature.

Dog lovers and many restaurant owners supported the idea, noting that the animals would have to be leashed and that restaurants could choose not to allow canines.

States including California, Florida and Maryland already have similar laws.

Assemblywoman Linda Rosenthal, a Manhattan Democrat who sponsored the bill in her chamber, says it successfully balances public health and safety and the desire that many New Yorkers have to enjoy outdoor meals in the company of their pets.

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