NEW BRUNSWICK, N.J. — New Brunswick lawmakers have proposed a ban on bars and liquor stores in the state.
New Brunswick lawmakers passed the proposal Tuesday in a 13-5 vote.
The bill would ban hookah, cigar and liquor bars and bars and restaurants in public places from operating in New Brunswick.
It would also require liquor stores to maintain a minimum of three alcohol licenses and prohibit them from selling to minors.
The legislation would apply to any liquor store that does not have a liquor license.
New Jersey has some of the strictest liquor laws in the country.
The ban on liquor stores was part of a broader package of restrictions passed in May to prevent liquor from flowing in and out of New Jersey.
The legislative proposal was introduced by Assemblyman Paul Binder, R-New Brunswick, in the 2017 session.
Binder said the proposal was in response to a spike in deaths in New Jersey after the deadly wildfires that ravaged the state’s Southeast and central regions in 2016.
In a statement, New Jersey Gov.
Chris Christie said, “We have to get this right.
We have to be honest with ourselves and with the public.
We can’t continue to tolerate unsafe drinking and reckless behavior.”
New Brunswick already bans hookah clubs, barbershops and restaurants.
The state passed a similar ban in 2013.
The state’s liquor licensing system has been criticized for being overly complicated.
It is currently the third most complex in the nation.