Colorado lawmakers to debate keeping bars open past 2 a.m.

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DENVER — Lawmakers will debate whether bars in Colorado should be open after 2 a.m. after HB 17-1123 was introduced at the State Capitol this week. 

The bill makes it possible for local governments to pass ordinances to allow bars in their jurisdiction to stay open later.

“The best decisions are made locally,” said Rep. Steve Lebsock, a Democrat and primary sponsor of the bill.

“I just believe that local governments, working with local enforcement and businesses, should  be determining when a bar or restaurant closes not the state government.”

Public safety groups are expected to form in opposition, citing concerns, but the measure does have Republican support.

“Sure, there’ll be some opposition to it, but that’s the way the process works,” said Rep. Dave Thurlow, a Republican sponsor of the bill.

Across the country, 2 a.m. is the standard last call for bars, but some states have different rules, including Nevada where there is never a last call.

Lebsock said no cities have indicated they would pass an ordinance to extend hours, but it is early in the process.

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