Amended party bus bill advances

Lawmakers advanced a bill from select file Feb. 6 that would license charter buses that allow consumption of alcohol under the state’s Liquor Control Act.

Sen. Megan Hunt
Sen. Megan Hunt

LB734, introduced by Omaha Sen. Megan Hunt, would require companies that operate special party buses to obtain an annual license from the Liquor Control Commission. The commission would have the right to suspend, revoke or cancel the license. A one-year license would cost $75.

Hunt introduced an amendment on select file that would limit enforcement inspections of special party buses to times when patrons are entering or exiting the stopped vehicle.

She said party bus operators expressed concern that their vehicles would be inspected too often and charter bus and limousine services were concerned that their vehicles would be confused with party buses.

“This addresses their concerns that law enforcement is just going to be pulling over [party] buses and unfairly targeting them” Hunt said.

The amendment also requires the Nebraska Public Service Commission to develop signs and other methods of distinguishing between special party buses and other charter buses.

Lawmakers adopted the amendment 33-0 and advanced the bill to final reading on a voice vote.

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