UPDATE: Gov. Jerry Brown vetoed the LOCAL Act on Sept. 28. “I believe we have enough mischief from midnight to 2,” he stated in a letter defending his decision.
Sen. Wiener expressed his disappointment, but promised to reintroduce the bill in 2019.
PREVIOUSLY: Two Bay Area cities are among the nine selected in the state of California that can turn up even later into the night.
Oakland and San Francisco were included in Senate Bill 905, which allows for select cities to extend alcohol sales past 2 a.m. to 4 a.m. It’s being called the Let Our Communities Adjust Late-Night Act, or LOCAL Act. The other California cities in the bill: Sacramento, Los Angeles, West Hollywood, Long Beach, Palm Springs, Coachella and Cathedral City.
The bill passed the California Legislature on Aug. 30. Governor Jerry Brown has until Sept. 30 to sign it into law. The LOCAL Act also has the support of the mayors from all of the selected cities involved in the bill.
The Bay Area is well renowned for its culture, prestigious sports franchises and breathtaking sights. The approval of the State Bill 905 would give Oakland and San Francisco the same advantages as other metropolises. Most major cities in the country already have their nightlife hours open until 4 a.m.
The extra two hours of alcohol sales could be a significant boon to the nightlife scene. While the bill allows cities to legally extend hours, it would not require it. For Oakland and San Francisco, the “early” last call perhaps keeps it from having the nightlife reputation of New York or Miami.
Proponents for the bill points to the job opportunities it will create and the economic bonus from the longer hours of operation. Bar owners, nightlife representatives and independent business organizations such as Uber and Lyft expressed full support of theLOCAL Act.
“Nightlife is vital to many of our cities throughout California, and we need to do more to let these cities find ways to promote and support nightlife,” said Senator Scott Wiener during a press conference held by the California State Senate last November.
“This bill gives cities the ability to extend hours wherever and however it works best for them — whether that’s in limited neighborhoods, certain nights a week, or only on a few nights a year. By taking this nuanced approach to empower, but not require local communities to extend alcohol sales hours, we can support nightlife in California.”
If approved by Brown, the LOCAL Act will go into effect on Jan. 1, 2021 for a five-year trial period, after which the act will either be repealed or extended.