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Bill would give towns control over liquor licenses

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BOSTON (AP) — Massachusetts Senate leaders are embracing a plan that would give cities and towns more control over liquor licenses.

The Senate Ways and Means Committee included the proposal in an economic development bill released Friday.

The state currently caps the number of licenses a city or town can grant under a formula based partly on population. Any requests for liquor licenses above the cap must be brought before the Legislature.

Gov. Deval Patrick has pushed to lift the caps, allowing cities and towns to determine the number of licenses that are granted.

Boston Mayor Martin Walsh and 16 other eastern Massachusetts mayors and town managers have also endorsed the proposal.

The Senate is expected to vote on the bill Tuesday.

The House opted against including the liquor license proposal is its version of the bill.

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