Assembly Appropriations Committee Guts SB 384, Study Bill Proposed
SAN FRANCISCO, Sept. 1, 2017 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- California Alcohol Policy Alliance (CAPA), and Alcohol Justice are reporting that Senator Wiener's 4 a.m. bar bill proposal is effectively dead. The action occurred today at the final Assembly Appropriations Committee hearing where SB 384's dangerous policy proposal was completely removed. It was replaced with language that would create a state task force to study the public health and safety implications of extending last call and report findings and recommendations back to the legislature by the end of 2019.
"Senator Wiener's bill is now on life support as a task force study proposal," said Bruce Lee Livingston, Executive Director / CEO of Alcohol Justice. "The Senator has lied for months saying there is no science on the harm from extending last call by 2 hours. In fact, there are numerous studies showing that extending bars hours increases street violence, traffic collisions, and emergency room utilization."
"Smart minds prevailed today in the Assembly Appropriations Committee as SB 384 was gutted, and gutted well for very good reason," stated Richard Zaldivar, Executive Director of The Wall Las Memorias Project and Chair of CAPA. "That bill was bad for California residents, their public health and public safety. The people of California won today! We don't need to increase taxpayers' money in police and emergency services."
According to CDC-reviewed reports, California already suffers $35 billion in alcohol-related harm every year, with 10,500 lives lost and hundreds of thousands of additional injuries. Local and state government share of this grisly tab is a whopping $14.5 billion annually.
"While Senator Wiener did a masterful job in the Senate at pulling the wool over his colleagues eyes, he ran into the truth in the Assembly Appropriations Committee today," said Jorge Castillo, spokesperson for Los Angeles Drug and Alcohol Policy Alliance (L.A. DAPA). "His denial of peer-reviewed research and his constant crowing about the virtually worthless local control process was finally challenged. We're very appreciative that the Assembly Members put a stop to that nonsense today."
"Today's Committee action, which effectively killed the 4 a.m. bar bill, is a grassroots victory for the thousands throughout the state who made their voices heard over the past nine months." said Veronica De Lara, Program Director, Pueblo y Salud, San Fernando .
"The demise of the 4 a.m. bar bill allows us to refocus on the larger cost of alcohol addiction, abuse and related harm in California," stated Mark Carlson, Director of the Lutheran Office of Public Policy.
Senator Scott Wiener, criticizing his own gutted SB 384, said, "It's embarrassing that California shuts down its nightlife so early. We're not going to give up." In response, Sara Cooley, Advocacy Manager for CAPA said, "I question the equivalency of the stakes here: assured death and injury on one side and Senator Wiener's embarrassment on the other."
"Current research does not support expanding hours of alcohol sales," stated Jonathan Fielding, M.D., M.P.H., M.A., M.B.A, Distinguished Professor UCLA Fielding School of Public Health and UCLA Geffen School of Medicine, and Chair, U.S. Community Preventive Services Task Force "…increases in hours of sale that are two hours or greater will lead to increases in excessive alcohol use and related problems."
In a previous statement of opposition, Patricia Rillera, Executive Director, MADD Southern California stated, "Over one-third of all California's highway deaths resulted from drunk and drugged driving. Extending alcohol service hours at bars and nightclubs would bring associated public safety risks and increased law enforcement costs."
"We are still skeptical about the SB 384 task force proposal," added Livingston. "It could be dominated by the same bar and nightclub owners and developers who have supported his failed 4 a.m. last call attempt," We may be asking the Governor to veto it if it passes through the legislature before the end of the session on September 15."
CONTACT: Michael Scippa 415 548-0492
Jorge Castillo 213 840-3336
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SOURCE California Alcohol Policy Alliance