Michigan State Senators may open debate later this week on a plan just approved by the State House to allow local communities to let bars stay open until 4 am. Even if the bill gets by the Senate and the Governor, there’s a question about state business closing orders and whether the state would attempt to enforce current virus closing orders over any local decision about the issue.

The original sponsor of the bill is suburban Detroit area Republican Representative Ryan Berman. Like many other pieces of legislation in the past year, approval by the House didn’t mean a lot to State Senators. This legislation was approved last year as well and the Senate never bothered to take a vote.

Voices in opposition to the states languishing virus controls are growing so there’s a better chance of at least a vote in the Senate this year compared to last.

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Berman says the idea is simple. What bars were able to weather the closing orders so far need every little bit of help they can get. And an extra potential 14 hours of open time for business a week right now might be enough to prevent even more from permanently closing.  At last estimate, more than 3,000 small businesses statewide have closed due to the strict closing orders of Governor Gretchen Whitmer.

The Detroit News reports there are some state agencies and professional groups in Michigan opposed to the legislation, including The Michigan Liquor Control Commission, and the Michigan Association of Chiefs of Police.

The State Sheriff’s Association is not officially opposed, but Executive Director, former Calhoun County Sheriff Matt Saxton, tells the News that some member Sheriffs are concerned that people may go driving between communities and sometimes impaired while going to a city or town where the extended hours are allowed. Saxton says, "It pushes that issue where we might get more people driving drunk knowing that one community is open until 4 a.m."

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