Illinois law makers consider allowing all colleges in the state - WREX.com – Rockford’s News Leader

Illinois law makers consider allowing all colleges in the state to sell alcohol

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ROCKFORD (WREX) -

Colleges in Illinois may soon have a new way to raise their own revenue during the state budget impasse.

"We're not having enough revenue in the state,"Rockford area State Representative John Cabello said.

Cabello has sponsored a new bill.  He said it would allow all colleges and universities the ability to sell alcohol to those 21 and over including students at places like sporting events and alumni gatherings.

"They do not have to do it and if they decide to do it they will need to come up with policies and procedures on how to go about it," Cabello said.

According to local lawmakers under the current Liquor Control Act only some schools in Illinois have been able to sell alcohol, including Northern Illinois University.  NIU said it already sells alcohol at events like football and basketball games.

"What we've done in the past was colleges would come to us and ask for permission to sell alcohol for special events," Rockford area State Senator Dave Syverson said.  "What this bill is says is we're going to give every college that option."

Syverson said he would back the measure.

"Giving everyone that ability I think makes sense," Syverson said.

Senator Steve Stadelman isn't so sure.  He said he needs more information.

"I want to see the language, specifically how it comes over," Stadelman said.  "I think it can be done in a safe way, but again it will be up to each university how to put this policy in place."

Supporters like Cabello believe allowing all schools to offer alcohol during events could even cut down on binge drinking.

"Most universities allow tailgating before the sporting event or the event that's taking place and lots of folks binge drink before the event starts and then goes into the stadium or the event," Cabello said.

13 News reached out to Rockford University and Rock Valley College for a comment on this legislation. Rockford University declined to comment and we did not hear back from Rock Valley College.

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