Republican Gov. Paul LePage's effort to allow bars to stay open until 2 a.m. has suffered a setback in the Maine Legislature.
The Veterans and Legal Affairs Committee unanimously rejected the governor's bill on Tuesday.
Current law allows bars to keep serving until 1 a.m. LePage wants to create a pilot program that would run this summer through Columbus Day to try out the longer hours.
Doug Ray, spokesman for the Department of Economic and Community Development, told the committee that the bill would help Maine businesses better compete with those in states where bars stay open later.
But Joe Massey, Waterville police chief, said letting the bars stay open later would make things more challenging for law enforcement. He raised concerns about noise complaints, among other things.