It’s been 37 years since Massachusetts first enacted its ban on happy-hour drink specials in an effort to stamp out any potential incentives for drunk driving.

But a new bill, the text of which was finalized this week by State Rep. Mike Connolly, would create a commission to look into whether it’s time to bring happy hour back to the Commonwealth.

Connolly said on Boston Public Radio Wednesday he believes the culture has “definitely changed for the better” over the past few decades when it comes to attitudes about driving drunk. Recent polling from the organizations MASSInc Polling Group, too, found most Mass. residents — a whopping 70% — agree that it’s time to ditch the ban.

But the new bill, known formally as H.D.3896, isn’t really about saving drinkers a few extra bucks at an after-work meetup. Its real aim, Connolly said, is to make it easier for bars and restaurants to build back revenue after a year of devastating financial loss brought by the COVID-19 pandemic.

“It’s a comprehensive bill to help restaurants and bars,” he explained, adding that it would also enshrine things like to-go cocktails, outdoor dining and caps on third-party delivery fees.

Massachusetts restaurants faced losses around $7 billion in 2020, according to a March estimate offered to WCVB by Mass. Restaurant Association President Bob Luz.

“This is really an effort to advance the conversation and see if we can find a way to deliver additional relief,” Connolly said.

There’s currently a similar effort to legalize happy hours through a 2022 ballot initiative. That petition was just advanced to its signature-collecting phase last week by Mass. AG Maura Healey.

But Connolly said he believes a ballot question would miss the nuance required for the proper reinstatement of drink promotions.

“Part of the intent here is we should have that public conversation in a robust way,” he said. “When it comes to a ballot question, it’s just yes or no on every single detail, and I think we could get the details right if we engage in more of a conversation.”

Gov. Charlie Baker, meanwhile, has pushed back on the notion of reinstating the practice. Speaking to reporters in July, he recalled “awful, horrible, terrible experiences on a very regular basis that came with happy hours back in the day,” and said he would “start as a skeptic of going back to the way we ran happy hours.”

“This is not the most important issue facing the Commonwealth,” Connolly said. “As we look ahead to the fall, I’m hoping we will extend the eviction moratorium, pass the Votes Act, and continue working to address climate change and systemic racism — and try to bring this pandemic to an end and try to mitigate the loss of life.

“But really,” he said, “my interest in this topic emerged from the pandemic. I often found myself in a position of criticising Governor Baker [and] advocating for stronger public health restrictions. And I feel there’s a duty, along with those efforts, to also look to help those who are impacted, and we know our restaurants and bars have been terribly impacted.”