James Maroney


James Maroney



May 12, 2021

Bill that Reduces Permit Fees for Club and Café Owners to be Effective Immediately

Today, state Senator James Maroney (D-Milford), Chair of the General Law Committee, lead discussion on the senate floor that would allow Senate Bill 263, ‘An Act Reestablishing Club And Nonprofit Club Permits,’ to be effective immediately.

SB 263 recently passed the Senate on Wednesday, April 8 and it will now be signed immediately by Governor Lamont. This bill will help to reduce permit fees for non-profit clubs that been inadvertently raised by the sweeping overhaul of the state’s liquor statutes in 2019. This bill will allow for an adjustment to the annual fee for the prior holders of club permits and nonprofit club permits and allows the Department of Consumer Protection to refund anyone who paid the difference.

“I’m thrilled that this correction is being made quickly and will allow our clubs to resume operation without further financial burdens,” said Sen. Maroney. “The hardship placed on cafes during the pandemic was undesirable and this adjustment will allow for organizations to continue to thrive going forward.”

In 2019, the General Assembly enacted a sweeping bill to modernize liquor laws. The bill cut the numerous categories of liquor permits and combined various permits for on-premises consumption, including club and nonprofit club permits, into the existing cafe permit, making the annual fee for a cafe permit $2,000. This bill, SB 263, has been amended and brings the fee for private clubs, like veterans’ organizations to $300, and non-profit clubs to $815. The bill will allow for reimbursement for these organizations who have already paid this year.

The coronavirus pandemic provided hardship on businesses including cafes around the state. Several organizations depend on donations to continue to be successful and with a cost reduction for local public, private and non-profit clubs in the state, places such as The American Legion and The Elks Lodge and stay open and use their funds to continue to support and educate members.

The American Legion exists to serve veterans, their family members, and their direct descendants of eligible wars. They are not operated for a profit and they also sponsor many community programs. Elks invest in their communities through programs that help children grow up healthy and drug-free, meet the needs of today’s veterans, and improve the quality of life. With the passage of this bill, private clubs like The American Legion and The Elks Lodge would benefit as they continue to operate on a tight budget. With a lower cost permit fee, it would allow for funds saved to be put toward helping serve our veterans.