* 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.
* 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.