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House eases liquor license ban affecting new Oak Park village president

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PRESIDENT-OAK-041113-19_37828271.JPGIncoming Oak Park Village President Anan Abu-Taleb, pictured here on the left during election night last month at his restaurant, could keep his ownership in Maya Del Sol after the House voted Thursday to relax a ban on public officials having liquor licenses. | J.Geil ~ For Sun-Times Media

SPRINGFIELD-Incoming Oak Park Village President Anan Abu-Taleb can keep his restaurant while serving as the town's leader after the Illinois House voted Thursday to relax a state law banning mayors from holding a liquor license.

The House passed the legislation 65-50, with one voting "present." The measure, sponsored by House Majority Leader Barbara Flynn Currie (D-Chicago), now moves to Gov. Pat Quinn's desk.

Under her legislation, the ban on public officials holding an liquor license would be lifted in towns of 55,000 or less. Currently, the ownership ban applies to towns of 50,000 or less.

Oak Park had an estimated population of 52,104 in 2011, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.

Abu-Taleb, who is scheduled to be sworn into office on May 6, owns Maya Del Sol, a popular Oak Park restaurant. He won election last month with more than 58 percent of the vote.

"I think it's important for us to respect the wishes of the people of Oak Park," Currie said.

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