Senator Wiener and Assemblymember Haney Introduce Bill Allowing Cities to Extend Last Call to 4 AM
SACRAMENTO – Senator Scott Wiener (D-San Francisco) and Assemblymember Matt Haney’s (D-San Francisco) legislation to allow – but not require – seven pilot cities to extend sales of alcohol at bars, nightclubs, and restaurants (but not liquor stores) to as late as 4am passed the Assembly Committee on Governmental Organization by a vote of 12-3. It will now head to the Assembly Appropriations Committee.
“Many bars and venues are still facing mountains of debt as a result of the last few years,” said Senator Wiener. “Although we’re now in a very different phase of the pandemic and the bars that survived are open at full capacity, many of these small businesses are still struggling. We need to give them every possible tool to help them survive – including allowing them to stay open until 4 a.m. Nightlife is a core part of who we are as a state, and our world-class bars and nightclubs deserve a fighting chance.”
SB 930 will help struggling bars, restaurants and nightclubs – particularly those that serve marginalized communities like the LGBTQ community – bounce back from the pandemic and help reinvigorate our cities. Many hospitality businesses suffered greatly because of the pandemic and have not fully bounced back since March 2020. SB 930 will support nightlife, culture, music, tourism, small businesses, and middle class jobs.
Senator Wiener has previously introduced similar legislation. In 2018, then-Governor Jerry Brown vetoed the legislation. SB 930 preserves complete local control in terms of decision-making, and applies only to the seven cities whose Mayors or City Councils have expressed interest in pursuing later hours: San Francisco, Oakland, West Hollywood, Coachella, Cathedral City, Fresno, and Palm Springs.
Each pilot city will decide for itself whether to remain at California’s blanket 2am closing time or extend later. Cities that choose to extend hours will have to go through a community outreach process, work with law enforcement agencies, and formulate public safety and transportation plans.
SB 930 does not automatically extend alcohol sale hours in these seven cities – it simply creates the option for the cities to choose to extend hours or to stick with the current 2am closing time. Cities will have significant flexibility and can, for example, limit extended hours only to certain neighborhoods or streets, 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, reviewed by Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC), to allow for later service hours with full community input. Each extended hours permit will also have to go through normal ABC review, with full public notice.
The bill has a five-year sunset, which means the results of allowing later service hours can be evaluated and then renewed or discontinued after five years.
In addition to Senator Wiener and Assemblymember Haney. SB 930 is co-authored by Assemblymember Wendy Carrillo (D-Los Angeles). The City and County of San Francisco is supporting SB 930.