Local business leaders from Los Angeles and West Hollywood rallied in support of SB 384 today, pushing for passage of State Senator Scott Weiner’s LOCAL Act which could extend last call from 2 AM to 4 AM in some parts of California.
West Hollywood’s David Cooley, owner of The Abbey, spoke at the Friday morning press conference:
“People are safer and more responsible with their transportation choices but our laws regulating alcohol service have not kept up with the global nightlife industry. By extending service hours, we’ll be able to compete with nightlife destinations all over the world and bring more money back to our businesses, our employees, and our local communities.”
The bill, currently in the Assembly Appropriations Committee, would allow local jurisdictions like cities or counties to petition the State Alcoholic Beverage Control Board (ABC) to extend the closing time by up to two hours.
The Appropriations Committee largely oversees expenses not in the Budget and the cost of SB 384 is negligible in the big picture of the State Budget. If passed out of committee the bill would go to the Assembly floor then back to the Senate to reconcile any amendments before proceeding to the Governor’s desk.
Even then don’t expect to be staying out until the wee hours anytime soon.
Because of the way te ABC was created via Constitutional Amendment, the Legislature cannot change the regulation but rather must create a process for cities and counties to ask the ABC to change the rules.
And there is no guarantee that the City of West Hollywood would seek such an extension and if it did, individual establishments would have to apply for amendments to their Conditional Use Permit to extend operating hours.
Nonetheless, if SB 384 passes, we hope the model can soon be applied to ABC regulations on moral turpitude, employee attire and entertainment, which are often used to entrap gay bars with scantily clad dancers the likes of which are plenty in West Hollywood.