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Michigan lawmakers consider bill to allow bars to stay open until 4 a.m.


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Michigan bars and restaurants could serve alcohol until 4 a.m. under a bill being debated in the state House.

The measure, designed to help bars recover some of the money they lost during the coronavirus restrictions, would allow businesses to stay open and serve alcohol until 4 a.m. once the restrictions are lifted.

Under the current restrictions, bars and restaurants are required to close by 10 p.m. The pre-pandemic closing time was 2 a.m.

The bill would allow local municipalities to decide whether to extend closing time for bars and restaurants.

During testimony before a state House committee last week, bill sponsor Rep. Ryan Berman said bars and restaurants have lost a lot of money because of the COVID-19 restrictions, according to The Associated Press/ Report for America.

“Once that is lifted it gives the local establishments, restaurants, bars, the ability to make up some lost time,” the Commerce Township Republican said. “Not everybody, in what we’re learning, has the same schedule. Not everybody works 9 to 5, not everybody is on the same sleep schedule. People work nights, people work weekends, different shifts.”

The Michigan Licensed Beverage Association (MLBA) supports the measure. Scott Ellis, executive director of the group, said bars and restaurants are looking for ways to recover from “the devastation they have felt from being closed due to COVID.”

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