Assembly Committee Approves Senator Wiener’s Bipartisan Bill to Allow Cities to Extend Alcohol Sales to 4 AM

June 29, 2018

Sacramento –  Today the Assembly Governmental Organization Committee approved Senator Scott Wiener’s (D-San Francisco) bill to allow – but not require – cities to extend sales of alcohol at bars, nightclubs, and restaurants (but not liquor stores) to as late as 4 a.m. SB 905 previously passed the State Senate in May, and now moves to the Assembly Appropriations Committee, which must approve the bill by August 17th.

The new 5-year pilot program version of the LOCAL Act, which stands for Let Our Communities Adjust Late-Night, preserves complete local control in terms of decision-making and applies only to the seven cities whose Mayors have expressed interest in pursuing later hours: San Francisco, Oakland, Los Angeles, Sacramento, West Hollywood, Long Beach, and Palm Springs. The LOCAL Act continues to have bipartisan and geographically diverse support. In addition to Senator Wiener’s lead authorship, the bill is co-authored by Senators Ricardo Lara (D-Long Beach) and Ben Allen (D-Santa Monica) and Assemblymembers Miguel Santiago (D-Los Angeles), Jay Obernolte (R-Hesperia), and Reggie-Jones Sawyer (D-Los Angeles).

“Nightlife is vital to many of our cities throughout California, and we need to do more to let these cities find ways to promote and support nightlife,” said Senator Wiener. “This bill gives cities the ability to extend hours wherever and however it works best for them, whether that’s in limited neighborhoods, certain nights a week, or only on a few nights a year. By taking this nuanced approach to empower – but not require -- local communities to extend alcohol sales hours, we can support nightlife in California.”

SB 905 does not automatically extend alcohol sale hours in these six cities – it simply creates the option for the cities to choose to extend hours. As with the previous bill, cities will have significant flexibility and can, for example, limit extended hours only to certain neighborhoods, only to certain nights of the week, or only to a few nights a year. Local governments still will have to create and approve a plan, which ABC will also have to approve, to allow for later service hours with full community input. The bill also has a five-year sunset, which means the effects of allowing later service hours can be evaluated and then renewed or discontinued after five years.

The bill has the support of Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf, Sacramento Mayor Darrell Steinberg, San Francisco Mayor Mark Farrell, Long Beach Mayor Robert Garcia, West Hollywood Mayor John Heilman, and Palm Springs Mayor Robert Moon.  SB 905 is also supported by the California Restaurant Association, the California Travel Association, the California Music and Culture Association, the California Hotel and Lodging Association, the California Small Business Association, UNITE-HERE AFL-CIO, the California Teamsters Public Affairs Council, and numerous business and travel organizations located throughout the state.  For a  full list of supporters, view  the  fact sheet here.

The LOCAL Act establishes a process involving local government, local law enforcement, the general public, and the Department of Alcohol Beverage Control (ABC) to extend the hours of alcohol sales to a specified time between 2 a.m. and 4 a.m. in specific areas, including developing a public safety and transportation plan. Extended alcohol sale hours could be conditioned to include only specific days of the week or certain holidays. 

Senator Wiener held a November press conference in San Francisco to announce his intent to introduce this bill in modified form. At that press conference he was joined by nightlife advocates, bar owners, labor representatives, and business organizations. Watch the video of the press conference here: