A bill banning residents under 18 from making purchases in Baltimore liquor stores is on a smooth path to becoming law.
The Judiciary and Legislative Investigations Committee voted to move the bill out of committee with a favorable recommendation on Tuesday.
The bill was amended to exclude stores, if liquor sales represent up to 20 percent of their receipts, after businesses, such as Eddie’s of Roland Park, expressed concern about the bill’s impact.
"What we wanted to do was to make sure we focus on liquor stores. Not stores that happen to be stores but also sell small amounts of liquor," said Councilman Nick Mosby, the bill’s sponsor.
Mosby, who represents parts of Hampden, Medfield and Hoes Heights, said he hasn’t spoke with all of his colleagues about the bill’s chances of passing, but it is currently co-sponsored by every member of the council.
"I’ve really just been aggressively working at the committee level to ensure that we are able to get to this step," Mosby said.
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An email from a spokesman for the Mayor said she is not opposed to the bill and will sign it if the council passes it.
The bill must be voted on two more times by the council before the bill is sent to the mayor’s office to be signed into law.
A Korean American grocers association, KAGRO-MD, whose legal advisor following last week’s committee hearing, has provided the bulk of the opposition the bill.
If the bill passed, it would be the first piece of legislation—that is not a non-binding resolution—sponsored by Mosby to become law.
Mosby was the only challenger to City Council member in last year’s Democratic primary.
He beat out former Councilwoman Belinda Conaway, whose father, brother and stepmother all hold elected office, after she became involved in a controversy about whether she lived in the city, and redistricting shifted Mosby’s Reservoir Hill neighborhood into the 7th District.
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