The Senate is making a late-session push to allow cities and towns to individually bring back happy hour, which has been banned here for nearly 40 years, but Gov. Charlie Baker remains skeptical of the provision that could soon reach his desk.

"I've said before that I have reservations about getting rid of [the prohibition on] happy hour, mostly because I'm old enough to remember what it's like when we had it, and there was a lot of carnage on the roads," Baker told reporters Tuesday afternoon, less than three hours after the lawmakers who will decide if the Senate's happy hour policy survives into a final, compromise economic development package that is expected in the coming days began their work.

A Senate amendment to the economic development bill would allow municipal governments to vote to allow the sale of discounted alcohol beverages at bars and restaurants during specific hours as long as certain rules are followed. Happy hour specials are common in most other states but have been prohibited in Massachusetts since 1984. Baker suggested Tuesday that he would be hesitant to sign a bill reviving happy hour if the Legislature does not also pass road safety legislation that he has filed and promoted for years.

"We've had the worst years, the past couple of years we've had, for auto fatalities here in the commonwealth that we've had in a long time. And many of those are single-car crashes, usually involving speed. We've proposed several pieces safe driving and safe highway legislation that haven't gone anywhere," he said. "In the absence of that legislation, I continue to have a lot of reservations about going back to happy hour."

Though the economic development bill is not yet on his desk, the $52.7 billion annual budget for fiscal year 2023 is and Baker did not shed much light on his plans when asked Tuesday about his review period winding down.

"It's gotta be done by Thursday," Baker said. Asked if he'll sign the budget Wednesday, he said, "It's got to be done by Thursday. Thursday, that would be the day after tomorrow."

After the governor's comments, his office confirmed to the News Service that the governor's action on the fiscal year 2023 budget is actually due by Friday. Though the budget was enacted by the Legislature on July 18, it was not delivered to the governor until July 19, his office said. That means his 10-day clock runs until Friday, July 29.