CALIFORNIA—The California Legislative lawmakers rejected Senate Bill 58, going into the early hours of Saturday, September 14. If approved, the bill, which was introduced by California Senator Scott Weiner, would have permitted the sale of alcohol past 2 a.m. at nightclubs and bars.

The bill would have extended the sale of alcohol until 3 a.m. The bill which was introduced in December 2018, reads:

“This bill, beginning January 1, 2022, and before January 2, 2027, would require the Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control to conduct a pilot program that would authorize the department to issue an additional hours license to an on-sale licensee located in a qualified city that would authorize, with or without conditions, the selling, giving, or purchasing of alcoholic beverages at the licensed premises between the hours of 2 a.m. and 3 a.m., upon completion of specified requirements by the qualified city in which the licensee is located.”

The bill would impose specified fees related to the license to be deposited in the Alcohol Beverage Control Fund. The bill would require the applicant to notify specified persons of the application for an additional hours license and would provide a procedure for protest and hearing regarding the application. The bill would require the Department of the California Highway Patrol and each qualified city that has elected to participate in the program to submit reports to the Legislature and specified committees regarding the regional impact of the additional hours licenses, as specified.

The bill would provide that any person under 21 years of age who enters and remains in the licensed public premises during the additional serving hour without lawful business therein is guilty of a misdemeanor, as provided. The pilot program would apply to Cathedral City, Coachella, Fresno, Long Beach, Los Angeles, Oakland, Palm Springs, Sacramento, San Francisco, and West Hollywood.”

The new bill would was intended to amend, repeal, and add Section 25631 of, and to add and repeal Section 25634 of, the Business and Professions Code, relating to alcoholic beverages.

During Friday’s vote, 35 members voted against the bill, and 29 voted in favor of the bill.

Written By Anita Brown and Donald Roberts