Bills

California lawmakers vote on school start time, `sanctuary state,’ hundreds of other bills on Friday

File photo of Hudson restaurant in Oakland, Calif. Cities could have allowed bars and restaurants to stay open later under a bill by state Sen. Scott Wiener, D-San Francisco, that was gutted in committee Sept. 1. (Kristopher Skinner/Staff) 

SACRAMENTO — A bill to require later start times at California’s middle and high schools cleared one of its final hurdles on Friday, as did the Legislature’s closely watched “sanctuary state” immigration bill — and legislation to make it easier for transgender people to have their gender identity reflected on legal documents.

Not faring as well in the rapid-fire ritual — in which powerful fiscal committees decide the fate of hundreds of bills in a matter of minutes, with no discussion — was legislation to create pro-choice-themed license plates saying “California Trusts Women” and a proposal to let cities allow bars and restaurants to serve drinks as late as 4 a.m.

The committee blocked the license plate proposal from Sen. Hannah-Beth Jackson, D-Santa Barbara. It gutted the closing-time bill from Sen. Scott Wiener, D-San Francisco, asking instead for a task force “to study the health, fiscal and community impact” of extending the hours past 2 a.m.

“There’s no need to study anything,” a miffed Wiener wrote in a statement Friday. “There’s nothing radical about letting local communities decide for themselves whether to let their bars and nightclubs go later. It’s embarrassing that California shuts down its nightlife so early. We’re not going to give up.”

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