State Representatives Bill Blessing (R - Colerain Township) and Denise Driehaus (D – Cincinnati)  recently introduced House Bill 598, legislation that would allow municipal corporations with a population of 50,000 or more to create entertainment districts and exempt persons within that district from the open container law.

“As a frequent visitor to New Orleans, I have personally seen the economic advantages that such entertainment districts bring about,” Rep. Blessing said. “With proper law enforcement in place, I am confident that we can revitalize Ohio's cities in ways unimaginable just a decade ago.  Entertainment district will create another incentive for Ohioans to patronize local businesses, and local governments indirectly, while having a great time in the process.”

In addition, the bill outlines the process by which local businesses may apply to be exempt from open container laws. The decision to create these areas would be decided upon locally and power remains on the local level if their legislative body needs to revoke the permit.

House Bill 598 is the companion legislation to  Senate Bill 116, sponsored by Senator Eric Kearney. House Bill 598 was filed with the clerk’s office and is currently waiting to be assigned to a committee.

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