Happy hour bill awaits Gov. Rauner’s approval

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Chris Keidel, owner of Big Muddy Pub, in Alton, Ill., is cautiously optimistic about the repeal of the ban on “Happy Hour” drink specials and other incentives that has passed the Illinois General Assembly and is awaiting the governor’s signature. | John Badman / The Telegraph via AP

SPRINGFIELD — Happy hour drink specials have been banned in Illinois since the late 1980s, but they could make a comeback under a measure that’s awaiting the governor’s signature.

The bill would restrict specials to four hours a day and no happy hour deals after 10 p.m. The measure has passed the state House and Senate and now needs the approval of Gov. Bruce Rauner for it to become law.

A representative with Rauner’s office told the News-Gazette and The Associated Press that he’ll “carefully consider” any legislation that’s sent to him.

Supporters say the change will produce more tax revenue for state and local governments through increased alcohol sales.

The happy hour specials were outlawed in 1989 over concerns about excessive drinking and drunk driving.

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