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Last updateTue, 10 Dec 2019 12am

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    Monday, December 9, 2019-2:45:07P.M.

     

     

     

     

     

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Bill to allow 18-year-olds to serve alcoholic beverages

CITING the current labor shortage in the CNMI, the House of Representatives on Friday unanimously passed a measure that would allow 18-years-olds to serve and sell alcoholic beverages.

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From left, Reps. Joel Camacho, Ivan Blanco and Donald Manglona in the House chamber on Friday.  Photo by Emmanuel T. Erediano

All the 15 House members present voted yes. Absent were Reps. Tina Sablan, Marco Peter, Ralph Yumul and Richard Lizama while Rep. Donald Manglona was not in the chamber during the roll-call vote.

Prior to the passage of House Bill 21-48, businessman Joe Guerrero testified in favor of the measure, saying it will help businesses maintain an adequate manpower while giving high school graduates the opportunity to join the workforce.

Authored by Rep. Joel Camacho, H.B. 21-48 proposes to allow bars to hire persons 18 years of age to serve or sell alcohol. The measure however, prohibits employees under 21 years old to mix alcoholic beverages.

During the discussion on Friday, Camacho said many graduating high school students aspire to work in hotels. Some also want to work as waiters and waitresses but are unable to do so because of the law that prohibits them from serving alcohol to customers.

He noted that hospitality and other service industries are among the primary job markets in the CNMI.