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Lawmaker Calls For Extending Bar Hours At Some Locations In Pa.

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) -- Could "last call" be getting later in some bars and restaurants in Pennsylvania?

State. Rep. Jordan Harris, D-Phila., announced Monday that he plans to introduce legislation which would amend the Liquor Code to allow businesses to apply for extended use permits, which would authorize the sale of alcohol beyond 2 a.m. to 4 a.m.

Harris tells CBS 3 Eyewitness News the change would boost the city's nightlife and the economy.

"We're not talking about the neighborhood bars staying open until 4 a.m. We're talking about a targeted approach at non-residential areas that we can create as entertainment zones," Harris said.

According to a news release, Harris' legislation would charge a business 10 percent of the yearly fee it pays to have a liquor license to have an extended permit license, with 50 percent of that total going to the municipality and 50 percent going to the State Stores Fund.

It also requires that at least one public hearing be held by the municipality for public input. The municipality would have the authority to refuse to issue a license based on the standing of the business or if the issuance of an extended use permit would affect the welfare, health, peace or morals of the municipality or its residents.

The bill aims to create designated entertainment zones away from residential neighborhoods where nightlife can occur and flourish, according to the news release.

"Specifically in Philadelphia, these permits will not be targeted as something local neighborhood bars would be applying for, but more along the lines of economic development drivers in areas that attract more tourism, such as Delaware Avenue and other areas of entertainment," Harris said in the news release.

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