Bill would allow bars to stay open longer

Drinkers could linger longer on bar stools across Nebraska under a measure that has received second-round approval.

The Legislature on Tuesday amended a bill to let cities pass local laws extending bar closing times to 2 a.m. The latest cities can let bars stay open now is 1 a.m.

The 2 a.m. close would be far from a sure thing: It would require approval from two-thirds of a city council instead of a simple majority.

Lawmakers who spoke in favor of the 2 a.m. allowance focused on Omaha. They said many late-night revelers head across the Missouri River to Iowa and spend money there because bars stay open that late.