BUFFALO, NY - The Erie County Legislature decided on Thursday to hold off voting on a proposal that would change the closing time for bars from 4 a.m. to 2 a.m.
The proposal will remain in committee to allow legislators time to get more input from the community on the proposed legislation, specifically, from bar owners and law enforcement.
Several business owners have stood against the rollback, arguing that the proposal would create unnecessary mandates since the vast majority of liquor license holders already close at 2 a.m.
The Erie County Sheriff's Police Benevolent Association has shown public support for the bar closure. They believe the changes would help reducing drinking and driving situations.
Legislator Ted Morton, sponsor of the proposal, originally expected the measure to go up for a vote on Thursday, and fail by a large margin. However, Morton told 2 On Your Side that within the last 24 hours several legislators approached him who were still on the fence about the proposal.
"There were a couple of legislators that said they were not firm either way, so it is something that if we voted on it today, it definitely would've gone down in defeat.So if this is something that, perhaps, hearing people from the community speak, maybe we can pass it, if it is meant to be."
Majority Leader Joseph Lorigo was adamantly opposed to prolonging the vote. He thinks the conversation regarding changing bar times has already been going on long enough. Lorigo's position is that the law would add another unnecessary layer of regulations.
Law enforcement and bar owners are expected to attend the open discussion with legislators next Thursday at 1 p.m. in the legislature chambers.