Has Murphy’s plan to overhaul NJ liquor laws hit the wall?

Sen. Paul Sarlo: There's not 'a lot of support in the Legislature'

Gov. Phil Murphy has advocated for New Jersey to overhaul its liquor laws. New Jersey’s liquor laws allow a limited number of licenses for restaurants, one per 3,000 in each municipality. But proposed legislation that would rewrite the rules doesn’t appear to be getting much support from state lawmakers.

“I think the governor’s proposal to expand liquor licenses does not have a lot of support in the Legislature. That’s just my opinion,” said Sen. Paul Sarlo (D-Bergen) during a budget hearing last week.

Ehren Ryan is head chef and owner of Common Lot restaurant in Millburn. Ryan said Common Lot won’t close immediately if he can’t get a license. But he’s not sure if staying open in the long term is a viable option and he said he doubts new restaurateurs will want to give New Jersey a try if getting a liquor license is always this difficult and expensive.

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