Representative Will Brownsberger and Senator Steven Tolman announced in a joint press release today the signing by the Governor of House 5024, the last of Belmont’s home rule petitions for the 2009-10 legislative session.
House 5024, a bill requested by vote of Belmont’s Town Meeting, will give the Selectmen the authority to issue seven additional restaurant alcohol licenses. These will will be all-alcohol licenses for restaurants between 60 and 250 seats.
Representative Brownsberger said that this was the most controversial of the six Belmont home rule bills that the legislature passed this year. The Consumer Protection and Professional Licensure required an extra hearing on the matter to address their reservations at the new approval process in House 5024. Previously, grants of authority to the Selectmen for additional licenses have been approved by referenda of all the voters. In this instance, the additional authority was approved by Town Meeting only.
Said Representative Brownsberger, “I feel comfortable that Town Meeting has a good handle on the needs and wishes of the community. I’m convinced that the additional restaurants we have been able to bring in have been very beneficial to the town.”
“I’m glad that by working together with Representative Brownsberger we have been able to grant Belmont the ability to issue additional alcohol licenses,” said Senator Tolman. “I look forward to working with Belmont’s elected officials during the upcoming session to address other issues which will make Belmont an even better place to live and work.”
Representative Brownsberger and Senator Tolman have moved a total of six special bills for Belmont through the 2009-2010 session. Although the alcohol license bill one was the only one with any element of controversy, perhaps the most important was the bill passed in December 2009 which fixed technical problems with the Wellington School referendum. Swift passage of that bill allowed the project to move forward as scheduled.
Representative Brownsberger said, “Belmont has gotten a lot of attention in this session. I’m grateful for the support of my colleagues and for the support of Senator Tolman”
Here is the list of the Belmont specific bills passed by the legislature in this session:
House 4389, An Act Validating a Certain Vote Taken by the Town of Belmont (now Chapter 191 of the Acts of 2009)