Massachusetts Senate approves bill giving cities, town control over local liquor licenses


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BOSTON — The Massachusetts Senate has approved a bill that would give cities and towns more control over liquor licenses.

The proposal was included in an economic development bill passed by the chamber Tuesday.

The state currently caps the number of licenses a city or town can grant under a formula based partly on population. Any requests for liquor licenses above the cap must be brought before the Legislature.

Gov. Deval Patrick has pushed to lift the caps. Boston Mayor Martin Walsh and 16 other eastern Massachusetts mayors and town managers have also endorsed the proposal.

The House opted against including the liquor license proposal is its version of the bill.

That means a conference committee charged with crafting a compromise will have to decide whether to include the liquor license plan in the final bill.

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