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Alcohol Justice: California Assembly STOPS Extended Bar Hours Experiment

SB 58 Fails as Lawmakers Choose Public Health & Safety Over Nightlife Profits

SAN RAFAEL, Calif., Sept. 14, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- Alcohol Justice and the California Alcohol Policy Alliance (CAPA) expressed deep gratitude today as the California State Assembly voted to stop SB 58. 35 members voted NO, and 29 voted Yes. 15 members did not vote, another way of making sure Senator Scott Wiener would be handed his 3rd failure in three years of attempting to establish a so-called "pilot project" to give some California cities the ability to extend last call at bars, restaurants, and clubs.

California Alcohol Policy Alliance (CAPA) AlcoholPolicyAlliance.org (PRNewsfoto/Alcohol Justice)

"At 3 a.m. this morning the bar bill died so that Californians won't," stated Bruce Lee Livingston, Executive Director / CEO of Alcohol Justice. "This dangerous idea of extending bar hours should not be resurrected by Scott Wiener for the fourth time next year— the Assembly will not allow it any longer." 

Just before the final Assembly floor vote, former CHP officer and current Assemblymember Tom Lackey addressed his colleagues, "…As members push that green button this morning on #SB58 - 3 am bar bill, I want to be a witness to you that a yes vote will send some people to their grave. How you reconcile that, I will never know."

The Los Angeles City Council, as well as the Los Angeles County Democratic Party, recently passed resolutions opposing the dangerous so-called "pilot project." They, and an impressive majority of State Assembly echoed last year's veto statement by Governor Brown of Wiener's nearly identical SB 905. Governor Brown said, "I believe we have enough mischief from midnight to 2 without adding two more hours of mayhem."

"This is a huge victory," said Los Angeles City Councilmember Paul Koretz. "The California Assembly chose the safety of its residents over profits for alcohol-related businesses. I am proud of their actions and of the coalition that fought to oppose this dangerous bill."

"The State Assembly spoke early this morning and the people of California won by defeating SB 58," said Richard Zaldivar, Executive Director and Founder The Wall-Las Memorias Project, Co-Chair California Alcohol Policy Alliance (CAPA). "We stopped the attempt by the nightlife lobby to harm our communities. Thank you to the members of the legislature that voted for people over special interests."

In late August, a surprise Assembly Appropriations Committee amendment reduced SB 58's last call change from 4 a.m. to 3 a.m. However, critics of the policy change were quick to point out that even one more hour of alcohol sales in ten different cities disrupts the protections of a uniform, statewide 2 a.m. last call.  Surrounding communities would have experienced increased harms and costs while alcohol sellers in the epicenter of nightlife entertainment districts would have seen marginal economic benefits.

In 2018, the evidence for increased harms was presented to the legislature in an Alcohol Justice/CAPA report entitled The Late Night Threat, Science, Harms, and Costs of Extending Bar Service Hours. It highlighted the existing data supporting how the acute effects of extending alcohol sales would spread to "Splash Zones" surrounding the pilot project cities.

This year a new analysis was done by the respected Oakland-based ARG organization, a project of the Public Health Institute. The "High Cost of the 4 A.M. Bar Bill"   was a first of its kind cost-benefit analysis detailing the effects of changing state alcohol policy to allow later last call at bars, restaurants, and clubs. The analysis disturbingly documented the worst concerns of Alcohol Justice and CAPA that public health and safety would be severely compromised if SB 58 became law.

"The Assembly saw right through Senator Wiener's haze of faulty justification and for the 3rd time, California said NO to this author's dangerous policy change," stated Michael Scippa, Public Affairs Director at Alcohol Justice. "To paraphrase a song from the Wizard of Oz, '...it's not only merely dead, it's really most sincerely dead'. And we are committed to making sure this Zombie last call bill is gone for good."

FACTS

  • SB 58 would have allowed closing times for on-sale retailers to be extended from 2 a.m. to 3 a.m. as part of a poorly conceived and inadequately funded "pilot program" conducted by the ABC
  • SB 58 would have allowed ten cities to extend last call: San Francisco, Oakland, Sacramento, Los Angeles, West Hollywood, Long Beach, Cathedral City, Coachella, Palm Springs and Fresno.
  • SB 58 would have stripped away statewide uniform protections of 2 a.m. last call
  • SB 58 would have cost the state at least $3-4 million per year to administer and mitigate the harm
  • SB 58 would have cost cities and towns in "Splash Zones" millions more
  • SB 58 disregards 40 years of peer-reviewed, public health research on the dangers of extending last call
  • SB 58 ignores $35 billion in annual alcohol-related harm in California
  • SB 58 would have subsidized and rewarded nightlife alcohol-sellers at tax-payer expense
  • According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), California already suffers more annual alcohol-related harm than any other state: over 10,500 alcohol-related deaths, $35 billion in total costs, $14.5 billion in state costs.

CAPA Member Organizations

  • Alcohol Justice
  • Alcohol-Narcotics Education Foundation of California
  • ADAPP, Inc.
  • ADAPT San Ramon Valley
  • Bay Area Community Resources
  • Behavioral Health Services, Inc.
  • CA Council on Alcohol Problems
  • CASA for Safe & Healthy Neighborhoods
  • Center for Human Development
  • Center for Open Recovery
  • DogPAC of San Francisco
  • Dolores Huerta Foundation
  • Eden Youth & Family Center
  • Institute for Public Strategies
  • FASD Network of Southern CA
  • FreeMUNI – SF
  • Friday Night Live Partnership
  • Koreatown Youth & Community Center
  • Laytonville Healthy Start
  • L.A. County Friday Night Live
  • L.A. Drug & Alcohol Policy Alliance
  • L.A. County Office of Education
  • Lutheran Office of Public Policy – CA
  • MFI Recovery Center
  • Mountain Communities Family Resource Center
  • National Asian Pacific American Families Against Substance Abuse
  • National Council on Alcoholism & Drug Dependence – Orange County
  • Partnership for a Positive Pomona
  • Paso por Paso, Inc.
  • Project SAFER
  • Pueblo y Salud
  • Reach Out
  • San Marcos Prevention Coalition
  • San Rafael Alcohol & Drug Coalition
  • SAY San Diego
  • Saving Lives Drug & Alcohol Coalition
  • South Orange County Coalition
  • Tarzana Treatment Centers, Inc.
  • The Wall Las Memorias Project
  • UCEPP Social Model Recovery Systems
  • Women Against Gun Violence
  • Youth For Justice

For More Information go to: https://alcoholpolicyalliance.org/ or https://alcoholjustice.org/

To thank the Assemblymembers who opposed SB 58, Take Action here: Text JUSTICE to 313131

CONTACT:

Michael Scippa 415 548-0492


Jorge Castillo 213 840-3336

 

Alcohol Justice logo. (PRNewsFoto/Alcohol Justice)
Cision

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