January 26, 2018
To the Honorable Members of
The Illinois Senate,
100th General Assembly:
Today I veto Senate
Bill 332 from the 100th General Assembly, which would authorize the issuance
and renewal of a liquor license for a specific establishment in Chicago.
legislation requests an exemption from a state law regarding which establishments
can hold liquor licenses based on their distance from a church, school or other
specified institution. Many of the broad exemptions to the general 100-foot
restriction still leave out certain business owners, especially in Chicago. As
a result, owners of 75 businesses have found it necessary to secure individual
exemptions through legislation like this.
The time has
come for the General Assembly to reform this broken system. 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. Local government officials can better determine whether allowing such
exemptions and licenses is appropriate for a given community, and are more well-situated
than the state legislature to create a streamlined process for making these
determinations in a business-responsive manner.
I have stated
in the past that I would no longer sign these carve-outs into law, and have
repeatedly urged the General Assembly to address the flawed structure.
Legislation such as Senate Bill 2436 provides for local liquor
commissioners to take ownership of this process and grant exemptions to the
100-foot rule if authorized by local law or ordinance, and represents a
solution to a problem instead of a repeated work-around.
pursuant to Section 9(b) of Article IV of the Illinois Constitution of 1970, I
hereby return Senate Bill 332, entitled “AN ACT concerning regulation,” with
the foregoing objections, vetoed in its entirety.