Feigenholtz Legislation Granting Local Communities More Power in Liquor Licensing Passes Committee


May 24, 2018

Springfield, Ill. – Legislation sponsored by state Representative Sara Feigenholtz, D-Chicago, granting local governments authority to give exemptions for businesses who wish to serve alcohol within 100 feet of a church, school, or other community establishment passed the House Executive Committee today.

“Under current law, business owners must contend with a long and exhausting procedure to serve alcohol in certain locations,” said Feigenholtz. “This legislation will put this issue in the hands of local government – where it belongs.”

Under current law, businesses seeking to serve alcohol near churches, schools, or other community establishments must receive permission from the General Assembly and Governor. Senate Bill 2436 changes this law by granting local governments control of the exemption process.

“By localizing control of this issue, the local liquor control commissioner and local residents will be empowered to decide which businesses are good for their communities, rather than requiring legislators from all corners of the state deciding the fate of a business hundreds of miles away,” said Feigenholtz. “This legislation cuts red tape while simultaneously giving local residents more control of what happens in their neighborhood.”

Earlier this year, Governor Rauner vetoed a bill which would have provided an exemption to a specific establishment in Chicago. His veto message stated, “Businesses should not have to secure exemptions to state law to acquire the licenses they need to thrive. Liquor licensure of this sort should be handled at the local level, where the impact of allowing a business to sell certain products is the greatest.”

This legislation has the support of a coalition of groups including the Illinois Chamber of Commerce, Illinois Restaurant Association, the Small Business Advocacy Council, the Lakeview Chamber of Commerce, the Lakeview East Chamber of Commerce, and the Lincoln Park Chamber of Commerce, among others.

For full text of SB2436, click here. For more information, contact Feigenholtz’s Chicago office at 773-296-4141.

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