Lead Sponsor: Senator Jamie Eldridge
Summary: This bill is based on language from the Governor’s Municipal Relief Act of 2008 to allow the local legislative body of a city or town to determine the number of liquor licenses allowed within their municipality. This would allow the municipality to make a local decision on the number of liquor licenses they would like to allow and removes the arcane quota system imposed by previous state law.
Why This Matters: Under current law, which has been on the books since the Prohibition era, localities wishing to increase the number of liquor licenses in their town or city must first approve the licenses through town meeting, then file a home rule petition for the state legislature’s approval. Some of these petitions can languish on Beacon Hill for years, dramatically slowing the process of towns offering liquor licenses. Providing local governments with control over the number of liquor licenses they offer streamlines the process and allows local governments to better meet the needs of business owners.
View the full text of the bill and track its history here.