SACRAMENTO, Calif.- - The late-night bar bill has become a little less late.
State Bill 58, which was originally penned to extend the last call of establishments serving alcohol until 4 a.m. for 10 California cities, has been amended to change that last call time to 3 a.m., according to bill author State Senator Scott Wiener.
The bit of legislation would allow the city councils of Cathedral City, Coachella, Palm Springs, Los Angeles, Long Beach, Oakland, Sacramento, West Hollywood, San Francisco, and Fresno to decide if they would want to opt-in to a pilot program which would late-night hours.
The bill's most recent edit came on Friday in the Assembly Appropriations Committee. It was passed in committee with 13 Ayes and four Noes.
In an interview with News Channel 3, the assemblyman representing the 42nd District explained his rationale behind becoming a co-author.
"I believe that there are issues that should be left up to the locals. I believe in local governance, local decision-making," Mayes said. "And when one of my cities in my assembly district thought that it would be important to be able to expand it, it makes a lot of sense to me."
The bill was dealt a major blow on the local level last week, when the Los Angeles City Council passed a resolution opposing the legislation.
"I'm looking to my council colleagues to support this resolution as a critical vote for public safety,'" said Councilman Paul Koretz, who authored the resolution. "This is a bill that puts not only consumers of alcohol in dangerbut all the innocent bystanders that will suffer, if it passes."
This isn't the first iteration of the bill, but it is the first time its closing time has been amended.
Wiener's last version of the bill made it through the State Assembly by a margin of 51-22, with help from an "Aye" vote from Assemblyman Mayes.
Mayes said that although he hadn't spoken to representatives from Coachella, Cathedral City, and Palm Springs recently, he knew that Palm Springs had previously embraced the bill. The Palm Springs City Council voted unanimously to be a part of the bar bill program.
"If the bill is signed into law, then it will come back to the city. We'll discuss it in a council meeting, we'll get public input, we'll meet with the restaurants and bars and resident groups and business groups to get input," Palm Springs Council member Geoff Kors said in July. Then we'll make a decision if we want to do it, and if we do, how we want to implement it."
According to Wiener. this would 1st extension of California late-night hours in over 100 years.
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