Gov. Parris N. Glendening signed into law yesterday a bill allowing restaurateurs in Anne Arundel County two liquor licenses, clearing the way for the expansion of chain restaurants throughout the county.
The bill was one of several local measures passed in the recent General Assembly session and signed by the governor yesterday, including one that raises the state's attorney's salary and another that raises fines for violating county liquor laws to $100 from $25.
The multiple liquor license law, spearheaded by Dels. John R. Leopold, a District 31 Republican, and Theodore J. Sophocleus and Mary Ann Love, both District 32 Democrats, will help expand the business tax base in the county, supporters say.
It will allow local or chain restaurants that serve liquor to operate in two locations in the county. One of the establishments must be within one of the county's town centers or in the BWI business district, Waugh Chapel Village, Marley Station or Annapolis Mall.
Currently, chain restaurants can have only one license outside Annapolis, which has a separate liquor board.
Legislators limited to 30 the number of second licenses to be awarded. The county liquor board will have authority to review whether any areas are underserved by restaurants. The law takes effect July 1.
Another bill signed yesterday will make the state's attorney's salary equal to that of a Circuit Court judge, with built-in, 3 percent annual raises. The salary will grow from $96,635 this year to $99,340 next year.