LA City Council passes resolution opposing California’s controversial bar bill

The Los Angeles City Council voted Tuesday 10-2 in favor of a resolution opposing proposed state legislation that would extend bar hours from 2 a.m. to 4 a.m. in 10 major cities across California. 

State Bill 58, better known as “the 4 a.m. bar bill” was proposed by Senator Scott Wiener. The bill would allow on-sale retailers to extend alcohol sales to 4 a.m. as part of a "pilot program" conducted by the ABC. The pilot program would be conducted in ten cities: San Francisco, Oakland, Sacramento, Los Angeles, West Hollywood, Long Beach, Cathedral City, Coachella, Palm Springs and Fresno.

Los Angeles City Councilmember Paul Koretz introduced the resolution (Council File: 19-002-S39) opposing SB 58 on March 5. The full council vote on the measure took place Tuesday after a rally in front of the City Hall steps. By voting in favor of the resolution, the council made its strongest statement yet that the City of Los Angeles does not support extending bar hours across the state.

"I think it’s very likely that it will pass, and it’s particularly important because it’s a 10 city pilot that includes LA and supposedly the author {of the bill) included it because city government was behind it," Koretz told FOX 11 reported Mario Ramirez prior to the vote. "But not a single councilmember has come out in support of SB 58.”

Those who oppose SB 58 believe that extending alcohol sales to 4 a.m. would expose over 76% of California's population to increased alcohol-related harm. 

According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), excessive alcohol consumption cost the state of California $35 billion in 2010, ten times higher than the median $3.5 billion cost associated with other states. 

“Costs due to excessive drinking largely resulted from losses in workplace productivity (72% of the total cost), health care expenses (11%), and other costs due to a combination of criminal justice expenses, motor vehicle crash costs, and property damage,” the CDC said.

The legislation is currently waiting for approval by the assembly. 

The new law would go into effect on January 1, 2022.

FOX 11’s Mario Ramirez contributed to this report.