California’s 4 a.m. last call-for-alcohol bill vetoed by Governor Jerry Brown

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Gov. Jerry Brown vetoed a bill today that would have allowed nine California cities — including Long Beach, Los Angeles, and West Hollywood — to serve alcohol at bars and restaurants until 4 a.m. Photo: Q Voice News.

A bill that would have allowed nine California cities — including Long Beach, Los Angeles, and West Hollywood — to have a 4 a.m. last call for serving alcohol at bars and restaurants was killed today by Gov. Jerry Brown.

“California’s laws regulating late night drinking have been on the books since 1913,” Brown wrote in his veto letter of Senate Bill 905. “I believe we have enough mischief  from midnight to 2 without adding two more hours of mayhem.”

The bill would have implemented a five-year pilot program for the nine cities to have local control over alcohol serving times at nightlife establishments.

“California’s one-size-fits-all closing time doesn’t make sense,” Sen. Scott Wiener (D-San Francisco), the bill’s author, said in a statement. “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,” Wiener said. “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.”

Wiener also said he will continue fighting to change the antiquated law.

“We should embrace and support our nightlife industry which brings billions of revenue to our state and employs millions of people,” he said. “It is a shame that we will continue to stifle our nightlife economy, but I remain committed to modernizing these outdated laws.”

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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.

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