LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) – A bill that would open the door for bars to keep serving alcohol past 2:00 A.M. cleared the State House on Thursday.
The bipartisan bill was introduced last month and has now cleared the House with a vote of 61 to 47. It will go to the State Senate for consideration.
If the bill becomes law, local governments would be allowed to set closing times between 2:00 and 4:00 in the morning. The Michigan Liquor Control Commission would sell “late-night permits” to bars that wanted to keep serving alcohol past 2:00.
The House Committee on Regulatory Reform says this could help bars and restaurants recoup the profits they missed out on during the COVID-19 pandemic, which would help increase tax revenues as well. The Michigan Licensed Beverage Association supports the bill.
However, the proposal also has opponents, including the Mid-Michigan District Health Department, the Michigan Sheriffs’ Association, and the Michigan Liquor Control Commission itself.
They are concerned about possible increases in impaired driving, violence, and alcohol use disorder. They point out that this bill would increase access to alcohol at a time when more adults are struggling with depression due to the pandemic.
If you or someone you know is struggling with alcohol abuse, there are resources available to help. Click here for information on resources that are available in Michigan.