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In which I agree with the governor

Friday, Feb 24, 2017

* From the governor’s office…

Signing Statement for HB 950

To the Honorable Members of

The Illinois House,

99th General Assembly:

Today I signed House Bill 950 from the 99th General Assembly, which authorizes the issuance and renewal of liquor licenses for certain establishments located in Chicago.

This legislation is a continuance of the General Assembly’s practice of providing retail liquor licenses to single businesses through a statutory exemption process. However, it should not be necessary for business owners to seek statutory changes in order to obtain a retail liquor license. Going forward, I would encourage the General Assembly to enact a process whereby exemptions for retail liquor licenses can also be handled at the local level. By doing so, we ensure every resident and business owner has access to seek exemptions and are treated fairly.

I look forward to signing a bill that establishes such a process in the future.


Bruce Rauner


* From the bill’s synopsis

Authorizes the issuance and renewal of a license to sell alcoholic liquor at premises located within 100 feet of specific churches or schools located in the City of Chicago.

So, because state law bars the sale of booze within 100 feet of churches or schools, legislators have to pass complicated bills every time somebody with a little clout wants to carve out an exemption.

* Here’s the part of this bill which deals with one of the two exemptions

(1) the sale of alcoholic liquor at the premises is incidental to the sale of food;
(2) the sale of alcoholic liquor is not the principal business carried on by the licensee at the premises;
(3) the premises are located on the opposite side of the same street on which the church is located;
(4) the church is located on a corner lot;
(5) the shortest distance between the premises and the church is at least 90 feet apart and no greater than 95 feet apart;
(6) the premises are between 4,350 and 5,000 square feet;
(7) the church’s original chapel was built in 1858;
(8) the church’s first congregation was organized in 1860; and
(9) the leaders of the church and the alderman of the ward in which the premises are located has expressed, in writing, their support for the issuance of the license.

There are about 70 of these complicated exemptions in state statutes right now.

The governor is right. This is a local issue. Let them decide what to do.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - Precinct Captain - Friday, Feb 24, 17 @ 4:12 pm:

    Has the governor signed one of these exemptions before?

    Why hasn’t management maven Bruce Rauner been taking this issue head on since the start of his term? These are the kind of reforms that could be good for small businesses. I suppose that’s why Bruce never cared until now.

  2. - Cheryl44 - Friday, Feb 24, 17 @ 4:19 pm:

    Or we could just end the nonsense about not selling alcohol near churches or schools. As long as everyone is carded, who cares?

  3. - Blue Bayou - Friday, Feb 24, 17 @ 4:22 pm:

    Selling alcohol IN churches and schools will have two salutary effects:

    1. Church membership will go up;

    2. CPS will have a new revenue stream.

    You’re welcome.

  4. - CEA - Friday, Feb 24, 17 @ 4:22 pm:

    Just to be safe, better limit that to “Counties of over 5 million population, whose names begin with ‘C’ and end with ‘ook.’” Illinois’ statutes are riddled with these ridiculous carve-outs.

  5. - walker - Friday, Feb 24, 17 @ 4:24 pm:

    Yep, Rauner’s right. It would also get rid of the clout sharing and dealing between aldermen and state reps.

  6. - Oswego Willy - Friday, Feb 24, 17 @ 4:25 pm:

    This is a good call by the Governor.

    Perfect example of the locals needing no help from the State.

    Glad to see this.

  7. - blue dog dem - Friday, Feb 24, 17 @ 4:28 pm:

    We have had wine at our church for as long as I can remember.

  8. - Juice - Friday, Feb 24, 17 @ 4:31 pm:

    I don’t disagree with Governor, but here’s my beef.

    In his statement, and when he lodged the same complaint at his press conference at the Paulina Meat Market during the famed dead fish incident, he never actually says what the regulation is that he is opposed to.

    He thinks state law prohibiting alcoholic sales within 100 feet of a school or a church should be eliminated, and if the locals want to impose those regulations, they are free to do so. That is a completely reasonable position to take, but he won’t just come out and say it.

    (Also, considering when the amendment was filed, it appears the longest part of the process has been the time it has taken for the Governor to sign it since it has been on his desk, but I digress.)

  9. - Nick Name - Friday, Feb 24, 17 @ 4:33 pm:

    “Selling alcohol IN churches and schools will have two salutary effects:”

    And they can get around the cost of a liquor license by just giving it away in exchange for donations. *wink!*

  10. - DuPage Saint - Friday, Feb 24, 17 @ 4:52 pm:

    He should have vetoed it and every other one like it. Then when enough clout heavy business people start screaming to the aldermen and reps and corresponding loss of political “donations” to same (and probably church donations) maybe they could pass a state bill giving it back to local communities

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

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