Nebraska bars could stay open around the clock under a bill filed in the Unicameral.
Senator Tyson Larson of O’Neill says taverns across the state should be able to set their own operating hours.
“I don’t think the government should tell a business that’s selling a legal product when they can and cannot sell that legal product and when they can and cannot be open,” Larson says. “It’s an issue that is purely overregulation by the government.”
The bill would eliminate the current mandatory closing time of 1 AM, though local governments are now allowed to extend that time to 2 AM.
“I’m not saying that bars have to be open 24-7,” Larson says. “It should be up to that bar owner when they want to be open and when they don’t want to be open. If they want to close at 11 o’clock at night, that is their prerogative.”
Larson says there are few similar restrictions on other types of businesses.
He says, “We don’t tell our convenience stores they have to stop selling soda and candy after 2 AM because science proves the body can’t metabolize those sugars in time before you go to sleep, therefore, those sugars are going to be stored as bad fat and later in life, cause obesity and diabetes.”
The measure is one part of Larson’s bill reforming the state’s liquor laws. He says a lot of “clean-up” measures are being addressed, like changing the classification of cider from wine and liquor to a beer. That’s an important move for taxes and distribution, he says, as ciders are becoming much more popular.
By Jerry Oster, WNAX, Yankton