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February 27, 2017

Petition wants Christie to extend Jersey Shore's seasonal liquor licenses for St. Patrick's Day

Nearly 1,000 signatures have been added to a petition hoping more establishments will be able to serve alcohol on St. Patrick's Day along the Jersey Shore.

Started Wednesday by residents of Monmouth and Ocean counties, the online petition urges New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie to sign legislation currently on his desk that would extend the seasonal liquor license period by two months. The effort has 987 signatures as of Monday morning.

The extension would allow bars to open in time for this Sunday's Belmar/Lake Como St. Patrick’s Day Parade and other holiday events. Supporters of the petition claim about 350 employees could benefit from the legislation.

"We believe that opening all seasonal licensed establishments, rather than a few, will only assist with the estimated 60,000 attendees expected for this year," the petition reads.

The bill was passed by the Assembly with a 41-29 vote in December and the Senate with a 22-15 vote earlier this month, but Christie hasn't decided whether to sign it.

Opponents of the bill have argued that businesses that pay for year-round liquor licenses would be hurt by the extension, according to

Under the proposed legislation, establishments would be eligible to sell alcoholic beverages beginning March 1 and ending November 14. Current law prevents holders of seasonal liquor licenses from serving alcohol before May 1.

A total of nine establishments, including six within five miles of Belmar, possess seasonal licenses in the state.