State Assembly members voted yesterday to approve a bill allowing nine California cities to extend last call at bars from 2 a.m. to 4 a.m. The bill, SB 905, is the latest version of legislation introduced by State Senator and former SF Supervisor Scott Wiener — and this time, the bill looks likely to arrive at the Governor’s desk to become law, since a past version of the bill already passed the senate, where it’s headed next for approval.
SB 905 is a five-year pilot program for cities that expressed an interest in exploring a later last call: San Francisco, Los Angeles, Oakland, Sacramento, West Hollywood, Long Beach, Coachella, Cathedral City, and Palm Springs. The legislation is supported locally by SF mayor London Breed and Oakland mayor Libby Schaaf. Cities wouldn’t automatically extend late-night drinking hours, but instead would have the option to do so. And it wouldn’t happen overnight: If approved, the pilot program wouldn’t take effect until 2021.
“When it comes to nightlife, you can’t compare downtown Los Angeles or San Francisco to a small town,” Senator Wiener said according to a statement issued by his office. “Local communities should be able to size up their own nightlife needs and decide their own closing time” The politician first introduced a version of the legislation in 2017, which was essentially killed in committee. Since then, he’s kept asking for another round.
“I’m proud of getting this piece of legislation through both chambers, and look forward to getting it to the Governor’s desk,” Wiener said. His next move, presumably, will be to push the Governor for his signature.