Bars, clubs would serve alcohol until 4 a.m. in 6 California cities under proposed bill

A 4 a.m. last call? We’ll drink to that proposal, which could become law in six California cities.

Here’s how it could happen.

A new state bill would initiate a 5-year pilot program giving six California cities local control to extend alcohol sales at bars, nightclubs, and restaurants to 4 a.m.

Graciela Lopez, right, enjoys a drink with a friend at a space for queer women in West Hollywood. A new state bill described as a 5-year pilot program would give six cities local control to extend alcohol sales at bars, nightclubs, and restaurants to 4 a.m. Photo: Graciela Lopez.

The bill, which would go into effect January 1, 2020, only applies to cities whose mayors have said they support the bill:

  • Long Beach
  • Los Angeles
  • Oakland
  • Sacramento
  • San Francisco
  • West Hollywood

 

Sen. Scott Wiener (D-San Francisco), who authored the Senate Bill 905 and introduced it Thursday, introduced a similar piece of legislation last year that would have applied to the entire state, but it died in committee.

ALSO READ: California bill would allow cities to sell alcohol until 4 a.m.

The 5-year pilot program, called the LOCAL Act, which stands for Let Our Communities Adjust Late-Night, does not obligate any business in the six cities to remain open. Instead, it gives bars, nightclubs, and restaurants the option to stay open as late at 4 a.m. Liquor stores are excluded from the bill.

ALSO READ: Where are the lesbian clubs in Los Angeles? Queer women need spaces

Here is the trajectory the bill would take to become law:

  • Senate Governmental Organization Committee
  • Senate Appropriations Committee
  • Full Senate
  • Assembly Governmental Organization Committee
  • Assembly Appropriations Committee
  • Full Assembly
  • Governor

In short, the Senate has to pass the bill by June 1, and the Assembly has to pass it by August 31.  Governor has to sign it by September 30.

About the author

Phillip Zonkel

Award-winning journalist Phillip Zonkel spent 17 years at Long Beach's Press-Telegram, where he was the first reporter in the paper's history to have a beat covering the city's vibrant LGBTQ. He also created and ran the popular and innovative LGBTQ news blog, Out in the 562.

He won two awards and received a nomination for his reporting on the local LGBTQ community, including a two-part investigation that exposed anti-gay bullying of local high school students and the school districts' failure to implement state mandated protections for LGBTQ students.