Capitol Alert

Sacramento bars are one step closer to a 4 a.m. closing time

Hear Sen. Scott Wiener’s reaction on his bill to allow California bars and nightclubs to stay open until 4 a.m.

State Senator Scott Wiener, D-San Francisco, weighs in on his bill that could allow California bars and nightclubs to stay open until 4 a.m.
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State Senator Scott Wiener, D-San Francisco, weighs in on his bill that could allow California bars and nightclubs to stay open until 4 a.m.

State Sen. Scott Wiener did not agree with Jerry Brown’s claim that California had enough “mischief” and “mayhem” when the former governor vetoed a bill last year to keep bars open until 4 a.m.

Wiener revived the bill this year to allow 10 California cities to extend alcohol sales in bars, nightclubs and restaurants by two hours.

“With all respect to Governor Mischief & Mayhem - one of our greatest Governors but wrong on this issue we are committed to passing the bill this third time around,” Wiener tweeted on Tuesday.

The measure, Senate Bill 58, passed the Senate on a 28-6 vote on Tuesday, bringing the San Francisco Democrat’s third attempt at keeping nightlife lights on a little longer one step closer to Gov. Gavin Newsom’s desk.

The measure now heads to the Assembly for approval before Newsom, who supported a similar legislative attempt in 2004 as San Francisco’s mayor, has the chance to decide if Brown made the right move.

SB 58 grants San Francisco, Oakland, Los Angeles, Sacramento, West Hollywood, Long Beach, Coachella, Cathedral City, Fresno, and Palm Springs the opportunity to enter a five-year pilot program under the Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control. Wiener’s office said these cities were chosen because their mayors or city councils have expressed interest in extending nightlife hours.

The cities can decide if they want to keep their current closing times at 2 a.m. or to tack on two more hours of fun. If they extend, they will have to work with community stakeholders, including law enforcement agencies, to develop public safety and transportation plans.

The bill earned bipartisan support, and Wiener said SB 58 supports the cultural and economic fabric of cities by promoting music, tourism and small business industries. The legislation allows local governments to tailor the law to their city’s needs, which means they can limit the extension to portions of the city, days of the week or to just a few nights of the year.

“Third time’s a charm!” Wiener tweeted after the floor vote, with a press release following to say, “California’s current rigid, outdated, blanket 2 a.m. closing time no longer makes sense.”

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Hannah Wiley joined The Bee as a legislative reporter in 2019. She produces the morning newsletter for Capitol Alert and previously reported on immigration, education and criminal justice. She’s a Chicago-area native and a graduate of Saint Louis University and Northwestern.

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