LINCOLN — The minimum age to serve alcohol in Nebraska will remain at 19.

The Nebraska Legislature’s General Affairs Committee on Wednesday advanced Legislative Bill 1105 without a provision that would have allowed 16-year-olds to serve alcohol.

A committee hearing last week drew opponents who said that portion of the bill could put young people in a vulnerable position of being pressured to serve their friends.

O’Neill State Sen. Tyson Larson, the bill’s sponsor, had argued the measure would help rural businesses that have staffing issues. Under his proposal, the young person would have been required to take state-approved training.

Another part of LB 1105 regarding 16-year-olds, however, advanced. Under that portion, 16-year-old employees would be able to ring up tickets that include alcohol as long as the youth didn’t handle alcohol.

For example, young people who work at the counter of a pizza parlor could finalize a sale that includes alcohol on the ticket.

Larson called the bill, as advanced, a “good compromise.” The committee plans to prioritize it.

Regarding the part of the bill that would have allowed 16-year-old servers, Larson said, “It was obvious that was something Nebraskans aren’t quite ready for.”

The committee on Wednesday also amended another bill into LB 1105. Crete Sen. Laura Ebke’s LB 1046 would allow people who legally work in Nebraska but are not U.S. citizens to qualify for a liquor license.

Contact the writer: 402-444-1192, emily.nohr@owh.com

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