Bill to keep bars open until 4 a.m. passes Michigan House

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By WWJ Newsradio 950

(WWJ) You don't have to go home, but you can't stay here ... or maybe you can: Legislation making its way through Lansing aims to extend "last call" by two hours.

Under the legislation, bars and other establishments that serve alcohol will be able to stay open until 4 a.m.

The measure passed the state House overwhelmingly, 77-27, but the Senate would still have to approve the measure to get it on the governor's desk for consideration. 

But it still has hoops to jump through. To take effect, local governments would have to approve it and local bar owners would have to apply for special permits to stay open that late.

What's behind the effort? Some legislators believe this is necessary to help businesses survive the coronavirus pandemic.

During an earlier committee hearing, MLive reported that state rep Ryan Berman, R-Commerce Township, told lawmakers the legislation would give local governments “another tool” to help their businesses stay afloat amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

“This is an opt-in, local control bill,” he said at the time. “I think it would bring in extra revenue to these businesses.”