GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) - "Go cups" may soon be legal in Mississippi. A bill awaiting Governor Bryant's signature would allow cities to designate specific areas where people would be allowed to carry an alcoholic beverage outside of a bar or restaurant.
Rep. Scott DeLano was the primary author of the bill. He said it's something a lot of people have wanted for a long time, and would give an economic boost to restaurants who invest in downtown areas.
"This will help create a more enjoyable atmosphere in our downtown areas and allow better utilization of our public spaces for concerts, festivals, and other events," DeLano said.
City leaders in Gulfport helped push the issue this year because of the Fishbone Alley project.
"We have been in favor of this bill from the start," Gulfport Mayor Billy Hewes said. "It makes all the sense in the world with the way that our downtown has been developed."
Hewes said the bill would allow restaurants to serve not only food, but drinks in an environment that customers want.
"Passage of this legislation may have started with Fishbone Alley, but the idea has caught on with other cities around the state that want to build an entertainment district," Hewes said.
If the bill becomes law, cities would have to establish their own leisure and recreation districts, and ABC would have to approve a security plan for the designated area.