California Says “No” to Later Bar Hours

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By Bill Hendrickson

Senate Bill 58, a bill to let bars in Los Angeles and nine other California cities stay open until 3 a.m., was defeated in the state Assembly on September 14 by a vote of 35-29. The defeat means that closing time in California will stay at 2 a.m.

The defeat in the Assembly was unexpected. In May, a version of the bill that set a new closing time of 4 a.m. cleared the state Senate by 29-6. Last year, a nearly identical bill easily passed both houses of the state legislature — but was subsequently vetoed by then Governor Jerry Brown.

Local opponents of SB 58 included the Los Angeles City Council. In August, a 10-2 majority of councilmembers passed a resolution to oppose the bill, saying it would lead to more alcohol-related crime, injury and death. Gil Cedillo, the councilmember for Council District 1 in Northeast L.A., voted with the majority to oppose the bill. José Huizar, the councilmember for CD14 in NELA, was absent when the vote was taken.

In Sacramento, NELA’s State Senator Maria Elena Durazo abstained from voting on SB 58. NELA’s State Assemblymember Wendy Carrillo voted in favor of SB 58.



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