Sacramento – On Wednesday the Senate approved Senate Bill 384, a bill authored by Senator Scott Wiener to allow – but not require – local communities to extend alcohol service to as late as 4 AM. The LOCAL Act, which stands for Let Our Communities Adjust Late Night, applies to bars and restaurants, but not to retail establishments.
“The LOCAL Act recognizes that nightlife is critical to the culture and economy of many cities throughout our large and diverse state, and that local communities can make responsible decisions to support nightlife, if that’s the choice they want to make,” said Senator Wiener. “By taking this nuanced approach to empower – but not require — local communities to extend alcohol sales hours, we can support nightlife in California while also recognizing that there is not a one-sized fits all solution for each and every city in our great state. I look forward to working with my co-authors in the Assembly to pass the LOCAL Act.”
SB 384 enjoys bipartisan support in both houses of the Legislature. Senator Joel Anderson (R-San Diego) is Senator Wiener’s joint author in the Senate, and Assemblymembers Matt Dababneh (D-Encino) and Miguel Santiago (D-Los Angeles) are the principal co-authors in the Assembly. The LOCAL Act is also co-authored by Senator Ben Allen (D- Santa Monica) and Assemblymember Jay Obernolte (R-Hesperia).
“I am pleased to joint-author the LOCAL Act with Senator Wiener because it empowers local leaders to make decisions that they believe are in the best interest of the people they represent,” said Senator Anderson.
The LOCAL Act is supported by a broad coalition of statewide organizations, including the California Restaurant Association, the California Travel Association, the California Hotel and Lodging Association, the California Music and Culture Association, UNITE-HERE, and the California Teamsters Public Affairs Council. It has received support from local governments and organizations across the state, including San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee, the City of Oakland, the Golden Gate Restaurant Association, Hotel Council SF, SF Travel, the Los Angeles Chamber of Commerce, the San Francisco Chamber of Commerce, the Anaheim Chamber of Commerce, the West Hollywood Chamber of Commerce, the San Francisco Bar Owners Alliance, and UBER.
California’s nighttime industry, including food service, bars/clubs, restaurants, and live music, generate many billions of dollars in consumer spending and employ well over a million Californians. Tourism in California generated $117.5 billion in spending in 2014 and supported over a million jobs.
American cities with late-night service hours beyond 2 a.m. include Chicago, Washington D.C., New York City, Buffalo, Las Vegas, Louisville, Atlanta, Miami Beach, New Orleans, and Atlanta. 20 states allow alcohol sales after 2 AM.
The LOCAL Act will establish a process involving local government, local law enforcement, the general public, and the Department of Alcohol Beverage Control (ABC) to extend the hours of alcohol sales to a specified time between 2 a.m. and 4 a.m in specific areas. Extended alcohol sale hours could be conditioned to include only specific days of the week or certain holidays.
Local governing bodies, if they choose, will first develop and approve a local plan showing that public necessity and convenience will be served by extending alcohol service hours. The local plan must identify which areas will be eligible for extended hours, as well as a law enforcement assessment regarding impact on public safety. The local plan must exhibit resident and business support, as well as the availability of transportation services. Once the local plan authorizing extended alcohol sales is approved, a business must then apply to ABC for an extended hours license.