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The Legislature on Tuesday amended an omnibus liquor control bill to ban the sale of powdered alcohol in Nebraska.

The measure (LB330) introduced by Sen. Tyson Larson of O'Neill received 32-3 first-round approval after the powdered alcohol ban was attached on a 27-8 vote.

Sen. Mark Kolterman of Seward, sponsor of the amendment, argued that powdered alcohol would be "too easy for kids to use and hide."

Banning the product would make Nebraska "a safer place for youths," he said.

Larson said the decision about powdered alcohol, a relatively new product, should be made by the Liquor Control Commission, which has authority over regulation of liquor in the state.

"They have authority over packaging," he said. "They can make this decision. They might decide to study it."

Lincoln Sens. Kathy Campbell and Kate Bolz both argued in favor of a statutory ban.

Sen. Ernie Chambers of Omaha described alcohol as "an evil substance" and suggested "outside entities" were attempting to gain approval for the sale of powdered alcohol in Nebraska.

"It should be banned," he said.

The sale of powdered alcohol is prohibited in seven states.

Earlier, an amendment proposed by Sen. Jeremy Nordquist of Omaha to authorize the sale and consumption of alcohol on so-called "pedal pubs" was added to the bill.

The pedal-operated rolling bars operate in Lincoln's Haymarket and Omaha's Old Market, but have not been allowed to serve alcohol.

The bill included a number of revisions to the state's liquor laws.

Reach the writer at 402-473-7248 or dwalton@journalstar.com. On Twitter @LJSDon.

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Political reporter

Don Walton, a Husker and Yankee fan, is a longtime Journal Star political and government reporter.

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