The Montana House has moved to increase from one to three the number of liquor licenses that business owners may possess.

Senate Bill 120 would allow the purchase of up to three liquor licenses, but restrict a person from owning more than half the licenses allotted to a single area.

The bill previously passed the Senate 29-19 and was carried in the House Monday by Rep. Steve Fitzpatrick. The Republican from Great Falls says the measure is pro-business and would allow successful chains to acquire the necessary licenses to open their doors in Montana.

Opponents warn the bill has the potential to allow monopolies.

The measure passed the initial House vote 71-29.