L’Italien to Play Key Role in Issuance of Liquor Licenses

Sen. Barbara L’Italien was appointed Thursday as the new senate chair of the legislature’s Joint Committee on Consumer Protection and Professional Licensure, succeeding the late Sen. Thomas Kennedy, who passed away last month.

L’Italien now plays a larger role in the issuance of liquor licenses to cities and towns seeking to exceed existing quotas. Senate President Stanley Rosenberg announced her appointment following a formal session of the full Senate.

“I am pleased that the Democratic Caucus approved my recommendation to appoint Senator L’Italien to serve as the senate Chair of the Joint Committee on Consumer Protection and Professional Licensure,” said Rosenberg (D-Amherst). “Throughout her career in the house and her short time in the senate, she has shown that she has the work ethic, compassion and intellect to take on the issues that come before this important Committee. I look forward to working with her in this new role.”

L’Italien, a freshman senator who served eight years in the Massachusetts House of Representatives from 2003 to 2011, is also the senate chair of the Joint Committee on Municipalities and Regional Government. She represents Andover, Lawrence, Tewksbury and Dracut.

The Consumer Protection and Professional Licensure Committee oversees legislation concerning consumer credit, consumer protection, the issuance of licenses for the sale of alcoholic beverages and the registration of various trades and professions.

“There is a wide variety of consumer protection bills that directly impact businesses and Massachusetts residents that come before this committee every year,” L’Italien said. “My top priority on this committee will be to make it as easy and cost-effective as possible to do business in Massachusetts, without sacrificing public safety and protecting consumers.”

A limited number of liquor licenses are made available in several categories for liquor stores and businesses such as bars, restaurants and clubs. Each city and town receives a quota based on the federal 2010 census in a process that is overseen by the state Alcohol Beverages Control Commission. To exceed those population-based quotas, a community must petition and receive approval from the legislature, which relies on recommendations from the Joint Committee on Consumer Protection and Professional Licensure.


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