Not Taking “No” for an Answer
State Senator Scott Wiener (D-San Francisco) has re-introduced legislation to let bars in Los Angeles and eight other California cities stay open until 4 a.m., two hours later than the current closing time of 2 a.m.
The latest bill (SB 58) is basically no different from the one that was vetoed last year by then Gov. Brown after it passed the state legislature with broad support. A spokesperson for Sen. Wiener told the Boulevard Sentinel that the senator is hoping the new governor, Gavin Newsom, will be more “sympathetic” to the idea of a 4 a.m. closing time.
The gist of the bill is that L.A., Cathedral City, Coachella, Long Beach, Oakland, Palm Springs, Sacramento, San Francisco and West Hollywood would be able to write their own rules for keeping bars open until 4 a.m.
In L.A., for example, city officials might approve later bar hours in nightlife areas like downtown and Hollywood, but not in sleepier areas like Eagle Rock.
The bill requires city governments to amass and consider neighborhood input on public safety and other local issues before they approve extended hours.
Wendy Carrillo, the State Assemblymember for NELA, supports a 4 a.m. closing time. She voted for the extended-hours bill last year and is a co-author this year of SB 58. “This bill takes a cautious, limited and measured approach,” said Ms. Carrillo in an email to the Boulevard Sentinel, adding that it would help expand business opportunities and regulate nightlife across L.A. and the state.
Mary Elena Durazo, the new state Senator for NELA, does not yet have a position on SB 58, according to her spokesperson.
– T.A. Hendrickson