Gov. Jerry Brown defied the wishes of the California legislature recently, when he vetoed a bill that would have let bars in Los Angeles and eight other cities stay open until 4 a.m. Among the majority of lawmakers who voted in favor of a 4 a.m. closing time (versus 2 a.m. currently) were NELA’s representatives in Sacramento, State Senator Kevin de León and Assemblymember Wendy Carrillo.
But Gov. Brown was having none of it. “We have enough mischief from midnight to 2 a.m. without adding two more hours of mayhem,” he said in explaining his veto.
State Senator Scott Wiener (D-San Francisco), who authored the bill, intends to try again next year, according to a spokesperson. It would be Mr. Wiener’s third attempt to keep the bars open later.
If the proponents of a 4 a.m. last call are ever successful in changing state law, it would then fall to local city governments to decide how to implement the later closing time. Certain parts of a city, such as downtown L.A., might be cleared for a later bar closing, while other parts, say Eagle Rock or Glassell Park, might not be allowed to stay open later.
Local control could be looked at as a way to try to limit the mayhem that Gov. Brown foresees. But then again, it wouldn’t stop someone who drinks until 4 a.m. in one neighborhood from driving into a neighborhood where the bars closed hours earlier.
For now, Gov. Brown has stopped the push for a 4 a.m. closing time. But proponents are not giving up – and the next time a bill for a 4 a.m. last call passes the Legislature, there will be a new governor.