Assembly Approves Senator Wiener’s Bipartisan Bill to Allow Cities to Extend Nightlife Hours to 4 AM

Pilot version of the LOCAL Act - which creates pure local control on whether to extend hours - is limited to nine California cities: San Francisco, Los Angeles, Oakland, Sacramento, West Hollywood, Long Beach, Coachella, Cathedral City and Palm Springs
August 29, 2018

Sacramento – Today the Assembly approved Senator Scott Wiener’s (D-San Francisco) Senate Bill 905 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.  The bill passed the Assembly with a vote of 46-14, and must now go back to the Senate for a concurrence vote. If passed will head to the Governor for his signature.

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 nine cities whose Mayors have expressed interest in pursuing later hours: San Francisco, Oakland, Los Angeles, Sacramento, West Hollywood, Long Beach, Coachella, Cathedral City, and Palm Springs. The LOCAL Act was first introduced in 2017 as Senate Bill 384, but did not move forward and was amended into a new bill last September. SB 905 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), Wendy Carrillo (D-Los Angeles) Jay Obernolte (R-Hesperia), Speaker Anthony Rendon (D- Paramount), and Reggie-Jones Sawyer (D-Los Angeles).

“I want to thank both my Democratic and Republican colleagues in the Assembly for voting for this bill, and for recognizing the importance of nightlife in California,” said Senator Wiener. “Nightlife is crucial to our culture and our economy.  California’s one-size-fits-all closing time doesn’t make sense. When it comes to nightlife, you can’t compare downtown Los Angeles or San Francisco to a small town. Local communities should be able to size up their own nightlife needs and decide their own closing time. This bill allows for local control over nightlife – granting flexibility to nine cities to allow bars to stay open later in certain neighborhoods or for special events if that’s what the community decides is best. I’m proud of getting this piece of legislation through both chambers, and look forward to getting it to the Governor’s desk.”

SB 905 does not automatically extend alcohol sale hours in these nine 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 will still have to create and approve a plan 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. SB 905 would go into effect on January 1, 2021.

“My district -- Los Angeles -- is the entertainment capital of the world. Our vibrant and varied nightlife is unmatched and a key component of what lures people to visit California,” said Assemblymember Miguel Santiago.  “I’m proud of this multi-year effort with Senator Wiener and I know, without a doubt, that it will pave the way for greater success and development in the City’s future – especially with major events like the Olympics on the horizon.”

The bill has the support of Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf, Sacramento Mayor Darrell Steinberg, San Francisco Mayor London Breed, Long Beach Mayor Robert Garcia, West Hollywood Mayor John Heilman, Palm Springs Mayor Robert Moon, and the City Councils of Coachella and Cathedral City.  SB 905 is also supported by the California Restaurant Association, the California Travel Association, the California Chamber of Commerce, 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.

Senator Wiener held a November press conference in San Francisco to announce his intent to introduce this bill in its 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:

Full text of SB 905: