A bill signed into law Friday by Gov. Bruce Rauner will allow the sale of alcohol at Lewis & Clark Community College in Godfrey.
House Bill 3540 would make Lewis & Clark one of the few state-funded education sites in Illinois where the sale of alcohol is specifically allowed under Illinois law.
Lewis & Clark President Dale Chapman said the school draws more than 200,000 visitors annually.
“Many of these visitors are taking part in the numerous banquets, receptions, celebrations, symposia or cultural events that also utilize the college’s catering services,” Chapman said. “Currently the college relies on third-party purveyors to provide the alcoholic beverage service at events on campus.”
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Chapman said the college does not plan to sell alcohol at sports events, as that would not comply with current campus policy regarding alcohol at student events.
Chapman said the campus serves as host for an annual bicycling event that attracts more than 3,000 bicyclists.
“Securing this event for future years will create a tremendous additional economic impact for the Lewis and Clark district and surrounding area,” Chapman said. “This annual event raises more than $2 million for multiple sclerosis research and provides a weekend festival environment where alcoholic beverages have been traditionally served at previous host venues.”
The legislation amends the state’s Liquor Control Act to state that alcoholic liquor “may be delivered to and sold on any property owned, operated or controlled by” Lewis & Clark.
In addition to its main Godfrey campus, Lewis & Clark has satellite locations in Edwardsville and East Alton.
Sen. Bill Haine, D-Alton, was the bill’s chief sponsor. He could not immediately be reached for comment.
Other colleges in Illinois where alcohol sales are allowed include Joliet Junior College, Triton College, College of DuPage and Kennedy King College.
Alcohol sales are not allowed at University of Illinois, with one exception: during Chicago Bears football games held at Memorial Stadium.
The Liquor Control Act doesn’t permit alcohol sales at Southwestern Illinois College, but it does allow sales at another education site in Belleville. The law permits sales at property occupied by the Belleville Area Special Education District or the Belleville Area Special Services Cooperative.
How they voted
Rep. Charlie Meier, 108th District: No
Rep. Daniel Beiser, 111th District: Yes
Rep. Dwight Kay, 112th District: No
Rep. Jay Hoffman, 113th District: Yes
Rep. Eddie Lee Jackson, 114th District: Yes
Rep. Jerry Costello II, 116th District: No
Rep. John Cavaletto, 107th District: No
How they voted
Sen. Kyle McCarter, 51st District: No
Sen. Bill Haine, 56th District: Yes
Sen. James Clayborne, 57th District: Yes
Sen. Dave Luechtefeld, 58th District: Yes