MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Wisconsin Democratic Gov. Tony Evers wants bars to stay open until 4 a.m. next year for the Republican Party’s national convention in Milwaukee.
A provision in Evers’ budget proposal would allow bars in 14 counties surrounding Milwaukee to extend their hours to accommodate convention-goers, CBS 58 in Milwaukee reported Monday. The convention is expected to draw tens of thousands of people to battleground Wisconsin’s largest city from July 15—19, 2024.
Currently, Wisconsin bars and restaurants must close by 2 a.m. on weekdays and 2:30 a.m. on weekends.
Evers’ idea will need the approval of the Republican-controlled Legislature to become law.
A similar proposal died in the state Senate in 2020, when Democrats were scheduled to host their national convention in Milwaukee. The convention was delayed a month and ultimately became a largely virtual event.
Scott Stenger, government affairs officer for the Tavern League of Wisconsin, said the group was working on its own proposal to benefit its member bars and restaurants during the convention.
“The ultimate goal is you want people to leave the great state of Wisconsin and say, we had a hell of a good time in Milwaukee,” Stenger told CBS 58. “We don’t want a situation where people can’t have their dinner if it’s that late at night.”