Owners, staff and residents of Montana retirement communities are asking the Legislature to allow their facilities to be licensed to serve alcohol to residents.

Supporters told the House Business and Labor Committee Thursday that serving alcohol with meals and at other times increases socialization and a sense of community among residents.

The Montana Tavern Association opposes the bill, arguing that residents can already have alcohol in their rooms and bring it to dining areas.

The committee did not vote on the bill, which seeks an exemption to the law that limits the number of all-beverage liquor licenses available in communities based on population.

A similar measure easily passed the House in 2017, but died in a Senate committee.

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