Eric Kearney

The Las Vegas strip has an open alcohol policy, which is what Ohio legislators hope could become possible in some cities here.
Spreng Ben / Flickr/Creative Commons

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — The Ohio Senate has passed a bill to allow people to carry alcoholic beverages outside as they visit restaurants and bars in certain designated areas.

The proposal would allow cities with populations of more than 35,000 to create entertainment districts, where Ohio's open container law wouldn't apply. Patrons with a beer or alcoholic drink from one of the district's establishments could carry it with them outside as they visit other district businesses. The size of the municipal entertainment districts could not exceed a half mile.

Democrats in the Ohio Senate say they'll work this session on bills to curb gun violence, improve ballot access and support healthy, financially stable families.

The legislative agenda of the Senate's minority caucus was announced Tuesday. It also includes proposals to extend hot meals for low-income children year-round and to establish a Family Stability Commission that would explore ideas such as reduced-price marriage licenses for those who get counseling and 30-day timeouts before a divorce.