Boston would be granted 75 new liquor licenses, helping to spread the local restaurant boom beyond the downtown core, under a bill approved early Friday as lawmakers scrambled to finish major legislation on the final night of their formal session.
As frenzied lawmakers worked past a midnight deadline, they also passed a bill designed to combat the state’s opioid crisis, including controversial provisions that curtail insurers’ ability to deny coverage for addiction treatment.
Other measures sent to the governor would tighten the state’s already stringent gun laws, and suspend the state sales tax on Aug. 16 and 17.
The liquor license bill would give Boston, which has 692 licenses, 25 additional licenses every year for the next three years. Those would be the first increases since 2006, when the Legislature gave Boston 55 more licenses.
The legislation also marks a shift in power, granting the mayor of Boston control over liquor licenses for the first time since 1906. He would appoint a three-person board to distribute the licenses, replacing the current panel named by the governor.
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