- Associated Press - Friday, March 27, 2015

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) - A bill passed in the Ohio House would allow bars and restaurants in Ohio’s larger cities to designate outdoor areas where people would be allowed to drink alcohol.

The sponsors of the bill passed Thursday say it’s about economic development and bringing more people to bars and restaurants. They say it will cut down on the red tape required to create outdoor refreshment areas for specific events.

The bill authorizes the creation of the refreshment areas by municipalities with more than 35,000 people. The municipalities would need to adopt safety requirements for the areas, including the number of public safety personnel, hours of operation, specific boundaries and a sanitation plan.

It now moves to the Senate for consideration.

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