TRENTON – The Senate Law and Public Safety Committee released bill S834, which would impose costs in the form of attorney’s fees on bar owners for various violations.
The vote was 3-2 along party lines, with Republicans Kip Bateman and James Holzapfel voting no.
The New Jersey Restaurant Association opposed the bill, saying it could be detrimental to the industry and even put some out of business.
The New Jersey License Beverage Association also opposed the bill, saying it would create an incentive for towns to fine bars instead of issuing warning letters, and could also open the door to retributions.
But Sen. Donald Norcross, (D-5), of Camden, said it is “unfair” to think towns will just issue fines for the sake of raising revenue.
He added that both the needs of the businesses and municipalities can be balanced.
The sponsors of the bill said they are willing to amend the bill to ease some of the concerns raised by stakeholders.