Lawmakers rejected a proposal on Friday to allow many California bars to extend hours of operation until 4 a.m., a bill that would have marked the first expansion of the hours of sale for alcohol since 1935.
Instead, the bill was revised to create a task force for studying the issue of keeping bars open beyond 2 a.m., with a report due back to the Legislature by the end of 2019.
Senate Bill 384 had garnered widespread attention, with supporters saying it would have simply given local communities the option to extend operating hours. Backers also cited that bars and restaurants outside of California are allowed to sell beer, wine and hard liquor after 2 a.m., putting some cities at an economic disadvantage.
The bill’s author, state Sen. Scott Wiener (D-San Francisco), told The Times earlier this year that young adults often end up moving to unsafe and illicit parties after the bars close, and that the bill simply dealt with “the reality of life.”
California Senator Scott Wiener, who first incepted the ‘Let Our Communities Adjust Late Night Act’ released a heated statement on Twitter in reaction to the rejection of the bill.
“There’s no need to study anything,” he began. “There’s nothing radical about letting local communities decide for themselves whether to let their bars and nightclubs go later. It’s embarrassing that California shuts down its nightlife so early. We’re not going to give up. Nightlife matters to our economy and culture, and California’s one-size-fits-all approach to closing time needs to be reformed.”
My bill to allow local communities to extend bar and nightclub hours to 4 am suffered a setback today. Here’s my statement. pic.twitter.com/1h6eVEY9Gg
— Scott Wiener (@Scott_Wiener) September 1, 2017