SACRAMENTO (CBS13) – The so-called “Last Call Bill” could keep bars open until 4 am in several California cities, including Sacramento, and it’s getting closer to becoming law.
SB 58 would allow the cities of Sacramento, San Francisco, Oakland, Los Angeles, West Hollywood, Long Beach, Coachella, Cathedral City, Fresno and Palm Springs to extend last call hours from the current 2 a.m. to 4 a.m. Currently, there are more than 9,000 “on-sale licenses” in those cities. Establishments looking to extend last call would need to pay a $2,500 application fee, plus another $2,500 annually.
The bill unanimously passed the Senate Appropriations Committee on Monday.
Sen. Scott Weiner authored the bill. He notes even if it becomes law, it does not automatically make last call in those cities later; rather, the bill will allow cities the option to decide for themselves.
A number of cities nationwide have similar laws, including Chicago, Washington, DC, New York City, Buffalo, Law Vegas, and Louisville.
Gov. Jerry Brown vetoed a similar bill, SB 905, earlier in 2018, citing concerns raised by the California Highway Patrol over an increase in drunk driving.
“California’s laws regulating late-night drinking have been on the books since 1913,” Gov. Brown said in his veto. “I believe we have enough mischief from midnight to two without adding two more hours of mayhem.”
If this version passes and is signed into law, it would go into effect January 1, 2022. The CHP would need to give the Legislature a report on the regional impact of the extended hours, including the cost, and number of arrests for driving under the influence. That report would be due on January 1, 2024.
The previously-vetoed bill had the support of a number of mayors and chambers of commerce statewide.
Sacramento Mayor Darrell Steinberg has spoken in support of a later last call hour, noting how it would help in the revitalization of the downtown district.
“This legislation gives us the flexibility to tailor our nightlife scene to attract tourists and conventions while protecting the character of our quieter residential neighborhoods,” Steinberg said in a statement.
If SB 58 becomes law, it would sunset on January 1, 2027, unless the Legislature decides to extend it.