State Senate Approves Bill That Would Let City Councils In Seven Cities -- Incl. Long Beach -- Allow 4 a.m. Bar Closing; Measure Advances To Assembly
Sen. Lara (among bill's co-authors and candidate for statewide Insurance Comm'r) votes "yes"; Sen Nguyen (seeking re-election) votes "no."
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(May 31. 2018, 9:27 a.m.) -- A state bill that could let voted actions by the City Councils in seven CA cities decide to their bars to remain open until 4 a.m. -- and includes Long Beach due to support by Mayor Robert Garcia taken without City Council discussion, voted approval or discussion by the Mayor-chosen "State Legislation Committee" (Austin, Mungo, Gonzalez) -- was approved by the state Senate on May 30 and advances to the Assembly.
SB 905 by state Senator Scott Wiener (D, SF) (full text here) with a "yes" v by state Senator Ricardo Lara (D,, LB-Huntington Park) and the "no" vote by state Senator Janet Nguyen (R, SE LB-west OC). The full tally was 27-9-3: Ayes: Allen, Anderson, Atkins, Beall, Berryhill, Bradford, Cannella, Dodd, Galgiani, Glazer, Hernandez, Hertzberg, Hill, Lara, Leyva, McGuire, Mitchell, Monning, Moorlach, Newman, Pan, Portantino, Roth, Skinner, Stone, Wieckowski, Wiener; Noes: Bates, Fuller, Gaines, Hueso, Morrell, Nguyen, Nielsen, Vidak, Wilk; No Votes Recorded: De León, Jackson, Stern.
[Scroll down for further.]
SB 905's co-authors include Senator Lara, who is also the Dem-party endorsed candidate for statewide Insurance Commissioner. If Lara is elected in November, it would create a LB-area state Senate seat vacancy that some speculate LB Mayor Robert Garcia (re-elected in April and a Lara ally) or Councilman Al Austin (term limited in 2020) may run to fill.
In late 2017, without holding any public or Council discussion on the issue, Mayor Garcia informed Senator Wiener that the City of Long Beach would welcome inclusion in the bill (along with the cities of San Francisco, Oakland, Sacramento, West Hollywood, Los Angeles [and May 2018 added Palm Springs] that would let each city's respective City Council allow a 4 a.m. closing times in their city.
SB 905's local supporters include the LB Area Chamber of Commerce and the Downtown LB Alliance. To date, the LB City Council's "State Legislation Committee" (members chosen by Garcia: Councilmembers Austin, Mungo, Gonzalez) hasn't held any public discussion of the bill, nor has the full Council..
In a November 2017 release, Mayor Garcia stated: "This bill clearly would not work citywide for us, it does give the city and local law enforcement the flexibility to allow special events in the Downtown Entertainment District. This option has been supported by the Downtown Long Beach Business Alliance, which manages our business improvement district." [Comment: One may speculate about whether bars/alcohol serving restaurants in Belmont Shore, Bixby Knolls, NLB and ELB's Airport area would press the Council to allow 4 a.m. closing times for their areas as well.]
The state Senate Rules Committee legislative analysis states that SB 905:
1) Requires the Department of ABC, beginning on January 1, 2021, to conduct a pilot program, and pursuant to that pilot program, may issue an additional hours license that would authorize, with our without conditions, the selling, giving, or purchasing of alcoholic beverages at an individual on-sale licensed premises between the hours of 2 a.m. and 4 a.m. within a qualified city.
2) Defines a "qualified city" to mean the Cities of Long Beach, Los Angeles, Oakland, Palm Springs, Sacramento, San Francisco, and West Hollywood.
3) Requires the local governing body, as defined, of a qualified city to designate a task force that includes at least one member of law enforcement and one additional member of the California Highway Patrol (CHP), to develop a recommended local plan that meets various specified requirements.
4) Requires the local governing body, upon its independent assessment, to adopt an ordinance that satisfies the elements of the local plan and to submit the ordinance to the Department of ABC for review.
5) Authorizes a local governing body to charge an additional hours licensee a fee to fund local law enforcement.
6) Specifies that an on-sale licensee that has conditions on the license that restrict the hours of sale, service, or consumption of alcohol, to a time earlier than 2 a.m. shall not be eligible for an additional hours license.
7) Requires that all persons engaged in the sale or service of alcohol during the additional hours period complete a responsible beverage training course.
8) Prohibits the additional hours license to be transferred between on-sale licensed premises.
9) Requires the Department of ABC, upon receipt of an application, to make a thorough investigation, including whether the additional hours would unreasonably interfere with the quiet enjoyment of their property by the residents of the local community.
10) Authorizes the Department of ABC to deny an application if the issuance of that license would tend to create a law enforcement problem or if issuance would result in or add to an undue concentration of licenses.
11) Requires the applicant to notify the law enforcement agencies of the city, the residents of the city located within 500 feet of the premises for which an additional hours license is sought, and any other interested parties, as determined by the local governing body, within 30 consecutive days of the filing of the application.
12) Requires the Department of ABC to notify the local governing body and all protesting parties who protests have been accepted of its determination to grant the additional hours license.
13) Authorizes any person who has filed a verified protest in a timely fashion that has been accepted to request that the Department of ABC conduct a hearing on the issue raised in the protest. The request shall be in writing and filed within 15 business days of the date the Department of ABC notifies the protesting party of its determination.
14) Restricts access to premises with an additional hours license to patrons 21 years of age or older during the additional hours period. If the person under 21 years of age enters and remains in the licensed premises during the additional hours period, he/she is guilty of a misdemeanor and shall be punished by a fine of no less than $200 dollars. This provision does not prohibit the presence on
the licensed premises of a person under 21 years of age that is otherwise authorized by law.
15) Requires the applicant to pay a non refundable fee of $2,500 at the time of applying for an additional hours license. An original and annual fee for an additional hours license shall be $2,500. Fees collected shall be deposited into the Alcohol Beverage Control Fund.
16) Requires, on or before January 1, 2025, the CHP to provide the Legislature with a report on the regional impact of the additional hours service areas, which shall include information on any additional costs incurred by adjacent cities, counties, and cities and counties and law enforcement as a result of an additional service area, including the impact an additional hours service area had on arrests for driving under the influence in adjacent cities, counties, and cities and counties.
17) Requires, on or before January 1, 2025, a qualified city that chose to participate in the pilot program to provide the Legislature with a report on the regional impact of the additional hours license, which shall include information on the overall costs of providing policing during the additional service hours and any impact the additional hours had on crime rates in the city, including arrests for driving under the influence.
18) Includes a sunset date of January 2, 2026.
19) Makes various legislative findings.
The state Senate's legislative analysis indicates SB 905's supporters/opponents are:
SUPPORT: (Verified 5/25/18)
California Hotel & Lodging Association
California Music & Culture Association
California Restaurant Association
California Small Business Association
California Teamsters Public Affairs Council
California Travel Association
Central City Association
City of Oakland
City of Palm Springs
City of West Hollywood
Darrell Steinberg, Mayor of Sacramento
Downtown Long Beach Alliance
Greater Los Angeles Hospitality Association
Hotel Council of San Francisco
Long Beach Area Chamber of Commerce
Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce
Mark E. Farrell, Mayor of San Francisco
Robert Garcia, Mayor of Long Beach
San Francisco Bar Owner Alliance
San Francisco Chamber of Commerce
San Francisco Taxi Workers Alliance
San Francisco Travel Association
State Coalition of Probation Organization
UNITE HERE, AFL-CIO
Valley Industry and Commerce Association
West Hollywood Chamber of Commerce
OPPOSITION: (Verified 5/25/18)
Alcohol & Drug Abuse Prevention Team
Alcohol Policy Panel of San Diego County
Asian American Drug Abuse Program, Inc.
Barbary Coast Neighborhood Association
California Alcohol Policy Alliance
California Council on Alcohol Problems
Cambodian Association of America
Center for Open Recovery
Coalition for Drug Free Escondido
Community Action Service Advocacy
East Palo Alto Substance Abuse Prevention Coalition
FASD Network of Southern California
Golden Gateway Tenants Association
Health Officers Association of California
Los Angeles Drug & Alcohol Policy Alliance
Mountain Communities Coalition Against Substance Abuse
National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence- Orange County
North Coastal Prevention Coalition
One East Palo Alto
Partnership for a Positive Pomona
Prevention Alcohol Related Trauma in Salinas
Pueblo Y Salud, Inc.
Reach Out Against Drugs
San Marcos Prevention Coalition
Sonoma County Board of Supervisors
South Orange County Coalition
Tarzana Treatment Center, Inc.
The Walls Las Memorias Project
United Coalition East Prevention Project
Wellness & Prevention Coalition
West County Alcohol Marijuana and Prescription Drug Coalition
Westside Impact Project
The State Senate Rules Committee analysis summarized arguments in support and opposition as follows:
ARGUMENTS IN SUPPORT: The California Music & Culture Association
argues that, "the current California one-size-fits-all model for late night closing times does not take into account diverse communities and varying needs. Our local communities should be allowed to develop transparent local plans that bring the public, local government, and transportation all to the table. SB 905 is a well balanced solution that provides local control over night-life while helping to grow
our travel and tourism industry."
ARGUMENTS IN OPPOSITION: According to the Alcohol Policy Panel of San Diego County, if this bill passes, "76% of the state's population will be affected. They will experience increases in alcohol consumption and related problems including violence, emergency room admission, injuries, alcohol impaired driving, and motor vehicle crashes. Furthermore, it will have regional consequences, especially for municipalities within driving distance of cities who adopt a later closing time forcing neighboring cities to absorb increased financial
and societal burden related to DUI."
Sen. Wiener calls SB 905 a "local control" measure that eliminates statewide "one size fits all" 2 a.m. closings statewide and enables "greater nightlife" in cities that want it. In 2017, Senator Wiener authored SB 35 which weakened local land use controls and reduced the public's CEQA rights related in certain developer-desired housing projects.)