AUGUSTA, Maine — Members of the Legislature’s Veterans and Legal Affairs Committee have unanimously rejected Gov. Paul LePage’s proposal to allow bars in Maine to serve booze until 2 a.m. this summer as a pilot project.

Waterville Police Chief Joe Massey told lawmakers it’s already hard for police to handle the crowds after bars close at 1 a.m., and the proposal would make a bad situation worse.

“Instead of getting people to move along by 2 a.m., it will now be 3 a.m.,” Massey said. “And, again, that is when my staffing for patrol is at its very, very lowest.”

The LePage administration argued that most visitors in the summer months are from states that allow the bars to serve until much later in the morning. To help boost tourism, LePage said Maine should try letting the bars stay open longer.

The unanimous committee vote kills the bill for this session.

This article appears through a media partnership with Maine Public Broadcasting Network.