- Associated Press - Friday, June 19, 2015

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) - Certain bars could be permitted to keep their doors open until 4 a.m. for a limited number of large events under a provision added to the Senate’s budget plan.

Sen. Tom Patton, a Strongsville Republican, inserted the provision so restaurants and bars can make more money and attract customers during events that draw at least 3,000 attendees to cities with 350,000 or more people, The Columbus Dispatch (http://bit.ly/1I2iDuu ) reported.

Vendors would have to apply for a special license 120 days before an event and go through an approval process to be able to stay open later.

Sporting events or concerts would not qualify for the special licenses.

It would affect the more populated cities in Ohio like Columbus, Cincinnati and Cleveland- where the Republican National Convention is scheduled to be held next summer.

“These conventions sometimes won’t break up to 1:30 in the morning, so by the time they get on their buses and get transported, they wouldn’t get to any restaurant even before they closed,” Patton said. “This gives people a chance to sample the restaurants.”

Patton said the RNC is expected to draw 50,000 delegates and about 5,000 protesters.

He said no one has voiced opposition to the provision yet and that the licenses would be used sparingly with the goal of attracting more major conferences to the state.

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Information from: The Columbus Dispatch, http://www.dispatch.com

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