A bill that would allow retailers like supermarkets to obtain more alcoholic beverage licenses is making its way through the Massachusetts Legislature, State House News Service reports. The legislation would lift the cap on licenses for businesses from three to five in 2012 and eventually up to nine in 2020. It would also charge a one-time $5,000 fee for every license after the third, according to the article. The Senate could send the bill to the House some time this week.
State House News Service further reports that industry groups are hoping the bill's approval by legislators would prevent the issue from being taken to the state's voters, as it was in 2006. That year, residents voted 53 percent to 41 percent against a ballot question that would have allowed selling wine at food stores.