Tuesday, October 20, 2015

New Law Gives Rockport Voters Option for Restaurant Alcohol

Restaurant patrons may soon be able to enjoy a greater variety of locations offering wine and malt beverages in Rockport.  Legislation that I filed, co-sponsored by Ann-Margaret Ferrante, on behalf of the town extends up to five new alcohol licenses has now been signed into law by Governor Baker.

This new law allows the Board of Selectmen to ask Rockport voters to decide on the adoption of a ballot question which, if approved at a future town election, will make three year-round licenses and up to two seasonal licenses available for clients at restaurants.

In April, citizens at Rockport's Annual Town Meeting supported an article on the warrant to request that legislation be filed at the State House.  With the bill’s adoption into law, town voters will soon have an opportunity to authorize selectman to permit alcoholic beverages to be drunk on the premises of year round and seasonal eateries. 

If the ballot question is approved by voters, Selectmen can issue regulations concerning hours of service and other restrictions. 

Proponents believe the new restaurant licenses would give residents and those visiting the town more dining options, promote greater consumer awareness of Rockport, and yield enhanced economic development for the town.  

Voters will likely have the matter placed on the ballot for the May 3rd municipal election.

The text of the law is available at: https://malegislature.gov/Bills/189/Senate/S46