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California Legislative Positions 
Last update: May 24, 2024

2024 Legislative Session

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PAST YEARS' LEGISLATION SUMMARIES

2024 Assembly Bills


AB 1940
Version: 5/24
Status: SENATE APPROPS
Summary: Alcoholic beverages: beer returns.
Permits retailers to return purchases of seasonal beers to wholesalers in exchange for equal amounts of non-seasonal beers of equivalent value from the same manufacturer.
Author(s): Villapudua (D-Stockton)
AJ Position: WATCH - There is no forecasted public health benefit from forcing retailers to push skunked Christmas ale well into June.
Position Letters:


AB 2069

Version:
5/24
Status: SENATE GO
Summary: Sale of soju and shochu.
Allows domestically produced soju and shochu--Korean and Japanese spirits--to be sold as wines by off-sale licensees.
Author(s): Gallagher (R-Chico)
AJ Position: OPPOSE - "Category creep" is a constant threat with novel (or at least, novel to U.S. palates) alcoholic products. Much like producers of the high-alcohol, heavily flavored cocktails in a can would like to see them sold as beers in corner stores, producers of the high-alcohol (typically around 50 proof) soju and shochu would like to get their products in beer-and-wine licensees (which include many corner stores). However, one look at common restaurant menus shows that this is probably not a wine as we generally consider it; for the most port, soju and shochu forms the alcoholic base of a cocktail, since it is relatively unflavored and on the ABV border of the two categories. This makes it functionally a distilled spirit. There is no compelling reason to move it into wine stores except that wine stores can sell it as a higher-ABV exception to the more staid wines, sakes, etc., particularly since California does not have a particularly arduous limit on distilled liquor off-sale licenses.
Position Letters:


AB 2094
Version: 5/24
Status: SENATE GO
Summary: Alcoholic beverage control: public community college stadiums: City of Bakersfield.
Allows for alcohol sales at the stadium attached to Bakersfield College.
Author(s): Flora (R-Bakersfield)
AJ Position: OPPOSE - Generally speaking, the proliferation of alcohol sales in colleges should be a source of concern, since colleges have a large contingent of underage students, and alcohol is a prime source of injury and mortality for young adults. For Bakersfield College, this is even more egregious--the demographics of the school are over 50% underage, including many high school students engaging in enrichment programming. Stadium sales are a well-described source of additional harm, and the younger the victim is, the more severe that harm. Colleges should not be dependant on alcohol sales. Colleges full of 18-year-olds shouldn't even be considering it.
CAPA Position: OPPOSE
Position Letters:


AB 2174

Version: 5/24
Status: SENATE GO
Summary: Alcoholic beverages: beer caterer's permit.
Allows any licensed beer manufacturers in California to also serve alcohol at up to 36 events per year.
Author(s): Aguiar-Curry (D-Davis)
AJ Position: OPPOSE - This bill blatantly violates the concept of three tiers by increasing the opportunities for manufacturers to engage in direct retail service. By making every single manufacturer also a retailer, this bill paradoxically creates an avenue for megaproducers to instantly dominate any situations which call for a short-term permit. This would not only reduce small producer's ability to use these permits, it would simply eviscerate independent alcohol caterers, who engage in a much safer model by virtue of a) reducing producer market domination and b) raising the floor price of alcohol.
Position Letters:


AB 2375

Version:
5/24
Status: SENATE GO
Summary: Alcoholic beverages: on-sale general public premises: drink lids.
Requires all type 48 licenses to make available, at or near cost, adhesive lids for customers to put over drinks, greatly reducing the odds that they are victims of drink spiking.
Author(s): Lowenthal (D-Long Beach)
AJ Position: SUPPORT - drink spiking, the covert addition of a drug to a person's alcoholic beverage, is an underrecognized and underreported source of harm for patrons of bars and clubs. Despite the popular interpretation that it is a form of sexual predation on women, in reality all genders have reported it happening, and the intention isn't always assault. Victims report trauma even if the event does not result in any further assault. This bill offers a simple, straightforward, and low-burden way for people to protect themselves, and is part of an anti-spiking package proposed by Lowenthal. Note that an Assembly amendment removed Type 47 licenses from the requirement. While we understand why, say, Saison would probably not need lids, some nightclubs are able to operate under a restaurant, not bar, license and this would leave them unobligated. This warrants future surveillance of such "morphing" Type 47s.
CAPA Position: SUPPORT
Position Letters:


AB 2378
Version:
5/24
Status:
SENATE GO
Summary: Alcoholic beverage control: licensing exemption: apprentichsehip program for bartending or mixology.
Creates a condition under which bartending apprenticeship programs can serve beverages for tasting.
Author(s): Calderon (D-City of Industry)
AJ Position: WATCH - After discussion with the sponsors of the bill, the conditions under which this "educational alcohol" is provided seem to actually more stringent than other existing exemptions under which this program could have been run. So long as it does not apply to anyone under 21, we maintain no position.
Position Letters:


AB 2389
Version:
5/24
Status: SENATE GO
Summary: Alcoholic beverages: on-sale general - eating place and on-sale general pulbic premiss: drug reporting.
Lays out requirements, when bar staff are made aware of a drink spiking incident on the premises, to engage law enforcement and attend to the victim.
Author(s): Lowenthal (D-Long Beach)
AJ Position: SUPPORT - as part of the generally underrecognized prevalence of drink spiking, there are no clear processes for staff to follow when it occurs. The victims, while involuntarily intoxicated, may not always be supportive of more aggressive interventions, and the bartenders, servers, and security staff might be skeptical that the victim was drugged or unwilling to overrule the victim's judgment in the circumstances. This bill provides clarity, and helps ensure that victims cannot be isolated--the circumstance under which the worst harms can happen.
CAPA Position: SUPPORT
Position Letters:


AB 2402
Version:
5/24
Status: SENATE GO
Summary: Drink spiking.
Obligates the California Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC) to create and administer a module in its Responsible Beverage Service (RBS) training on recognizing drink spiking and providing care to victims.
Author(s): Lowenthal (D-Long Beach)
AJ Position: SUPPORT - The California RBS certification program has created the backbone for an effective pedagogy for all employees engaged in on-sale alcohol service. However, how to prevent and address drink spiking was never specifically identified as a requirement for RBS ilesson plans, an oversight rectified in this bill.
CAPA Position: SUPPORT
Position Letters:


AB 2615
Version:
5/24
Status: HELD IN APPROPS
Summary: Alcoholic beverages: COVID-19 Temporary Catering Authorization: airside terminal space.
Would allow airports to create delimited "beer gardens" where alcohol service could occur beyond the physical limitations of the existing bars.
Author(s): McKinnor (D-Inglewood)
AJ Position: OPPOSE - alcohol-fueled aggression and disruption has always been a hazard of air travel and the bane of flight staff. In recent years, it has been on the increase. Trying to goose profits at airline terminals through alcohol sales is just begging for the worst to happen (or keep happening). 
CAPA Position: OPPOSE
Position Letters:


AB 2869

Version: 5/24
Status: HELD IN COMMITEE
Summary: Alcoholic beverages: tied-house restrictions: advertising.
Would allow a particular theme park in Orange County to sell advertising to alcohol producers or retailers despite the fact that the park itself has a liquor license. Also seems to allow some form of self-dealing, i.e. selling advertising to another organization within that company that also sells alcohol. It's a mess. Fortunately, it's dead for the year.
Author(s): Valencia (D-Anaheim)
AJ Position: OPPOSE - Like last year's Amazon three-tier exemption, this seems to be a case of a megacorporation (we don't know that it's Disney, but we suspect it's not Knott's Berry Farm) getting into three-tier trouble by edging towards a vertical monopoly. And like last year's Amazon three-tier exemption, the argument for its necessity seems to be that megacorporations should be allowed to form vertical monopolies if they really want to. However, the three-tier system is at heart an antitrust safeguard against specifically what Disney, Amazon, and so many other corporate concerns would like to do, and so should be upheld. To overthrow it risks allowing economies of scale and ubiquity of common ownership that greatly increase alcohol harm, as, indeed, it was pre-Prohibition. Or to put it another way, ask yourself why Goofy needs to sell your child a Tanquery and tonic.
Position Letters:


AB 2991
Version: 5/24
Status: SENATE GO
Summary: Alcoholic beverage control: retailer payments: electronic funds transfers.
Requires that retailers pay wholesalers through electronic fund transfers.
Author(s): Valencia (D-Anaheim)
AJ Position: WATCH - We do not foresee public health or safety impacts from this bill. In fact, it is likely an additional burden on retailers.
Position Letters:


AB 3117
Version: 5/24
Status: HELD IN COMMITTEE
Summary: Alcoholic beverages: evidence of majority and identity.
Allows alcohol licensees to accept digital ID cards, as issued by the DMV, to be used in lieu of a paper identification.
Author(s): Wilson (D-Suisun City)
AJ Position: SUPPORT - After inquiry with both ABC and the DMV, it seems that this technology has safeguards that make it harder to pass a fraudulent ID through inspection. The paper ID has to be checked centrally by the DMV before the electronic version is issued. There are still some concerns here--namely, that clerks will not be trained on how to properly ensure they're looking at the DMV app, and that there seems to be no way to impound or otherwise flag a stolen or borrowed digital ID--but as it stands, you can order a fake ID on any of a hundred sites on the Internet, so we are tentatively convinced.
Position Letters:


AB 3195
Version:
5/24
Status: PULLED BY AUTHOR
Summary: Alcoholic beverages: hours of sale.
Would allow any interested on-sale licensees to extend Friday, Saturday, and holiday service hours to 4 a.m.
Author(s): Haney (D-San Francisco)
AJ Position: OPPOSE - Restrictions on last call times are a fundamental pillar of safe alcohol sales, and have been supported time and time again in the scientific literature.  Absent these controls, locales see increases in violence, crime, dangerous driving, and other accidental injuries. San Francisco's continged in particular has long sought these extensions, despite the fact that, with the patterns of movement among visitors and residents seeking out these extended last-call times, much of the pain and suffering from the bill would go to San Franisco's surroundings while the city enjoyed the profit. This is a policy that the public has never been, and will continue to not be, comfortable with.  Although the bill has been pulled, we have seen similar instances where the bill's sponsors seemed to lay it rest only to reintroduce it as a gut-and-amend with a very short window to oppose.  We should not assume this version will stay down.
CAPA Position: OPPOSE
Position Letters:


AB 3203

Version: 5/24
Status: SENATE GO
Summary: Craft distillers: direct shipping.
Allows craft distillers to continue direct shipping via common carrier (FedEx and UPS, primarily) to California residents.
Author(s): Aguiar-Curry (D-Davis)
AJ Position: OPPOSE - A handle on demand is a recipe for enabling someone to drink themselves to death, and make no mistake, this bill allows an absolutely lethal amount of alcohol (2.25 liters per day--a handle plus a 750 ml bottle) to show up every afternoon. Aside from the basic risks of making alcohol consumption a zero-friction hobby, common carrier is a poorly monitored and difficult to audit method of delivering alcohol. By putting the onus on a volume-based delivery service, the odds skyrocket that couriers will simply not have the time to adequately ensure an of-age recipient is at the door. (Never mind the fact that there is no expectation that couriers receive anything resembling RBS training.) This delivery privilege was supposed to be an emergency boost to keep the lights on during COVID-19 lockdowns. Now it is one of the explosion of "new normal" deregulatory policies that have led to an precipitous rise in alcohol-related deaths in the state.
Position Letters:


AB 3206
Version:
5/24
Status: SENATE GO
Summary: Alcoholic beverages: hours of sale: arenas in the City of Inglewood.
Would allow for a 4 a.m. last call time in the new basketball arena in the Los Angeles area.
Author(s): McKinner (D-Inglewood)
AJ Position: OPPOSE - This bill is the proverbial camel's nose under the tent. The argument would be that the harm to others from a single, exclusive VIP room in a basketball stadium would be nearly imperceptible, and therefore there is no harm from a 4 a.m. last call. These assertions are not well founded, however. The harm would not be imperceptible, but rather easy to bury--either not reported by the stadium, minimized by the possible wealth of the patrons, or dispersed throughout the Los Angeles area after even the VIP room closes. The worst thing about it: the argument for its necessity is absolute gibberish. The billionaire owners of these teams and the billionaire investors in this arena are hardly desperate for a little extra revenue. Meanwhile the millionaires who'd be accessing this club have a thousand other options if they want to keep drinking after hours, including renting a space in the stadium.
CAPA Position: OPPOSE
Position Letters:



AB 2389
Version:
5/24
Status: SENATE GO
Summary: Alcoholic beverages: on-sale general - eating place and on-sale general pulbic premiss: drug reporting.
Lays out requirements, when bar staff are made aware of a drink spiking incident on the premises, to engage law enforcement and attend to the victim.
Author(s): Lowenthal (D-Long Beach)
AJ Position: SUPPORT - as part of the generally underrecognized prevalence of drink spiking, there are no clear processes for staff to follow when it occurs. The victims, while involuntarily intoxicated, may not always be supportive of more aggressive interventions, and the bartenders, servers, and security staff might be skeptical that the victim was drugged or unwilling to overrule the victim's judgment in the circumstances. This bill provides clarity, and helps ensure that victims cannot be isolated--the circumstance under which the worst harms can happen.
CAPA Position: SUPPORT
Position Letters:

2024 Senate Bills


SB 969
Version:
5/16
Status: ASSEMBLY DESK
Summary: Alcoholic beverages: entertainment zones: consumption.
Would allow localities to establish party zones, where alcohol is sold directly from bars and caterers into the street.
Author(s): Wiener (D-San Francisco)
AJ Position: OPPOSE - This is a retread of a bill from last year, which allows any interested city or other local jurisdiction to declare and arbitrarily large part of their city an "entertainment zone," where open carry rules are suspended for drinks sold by on-sale licensees. To put it more simply, it allows Bourbon St. to open in any and every California town. Other than the requirement that the beverages be sold by on-sale licensees and a requirement that wristbands or the equivalent be used, this policy has minimal guardrails. There is no obligation that anybody be responsible for patron health and safety--no city staffing requirements, no contribution from licensees to the security in the zone, and no opportunity to engage in responsible beverage service. Of additional concern, there is nothing that obligates that traffic be separated from the consumers--creating a situation where people are drawn to drive to the party zone, drink to excess, then drive home on the very street where others are still drinking to excess. Beyond that, there's no limits on hours of the day, days of the week, nor triggers under which the zone should be considered an unreasonable public health and safety threat. There is also every temptation for licensees in party zones to sack their staff and simply sell high-potency drinks from the door, a practice that is both a public health threat and a job destroyer. In the words of a UNC team assessing a similar policy in their state, this is tailor made to concentrate the benefits and distribute the harm.
Position Letters:


SB 1028
Version:
5/24
Status: HELD IN APPROPS
Summary: Alcoholic beverage licensees: on-sale general licenses for bona fide eating places.
Would automatically grant an additional 10 licenses to any county that is overconcentrated.
Author(s): Alvarado-Gil (D-Modesto)
AJ Position: OPPOSE - You might assume that the term "overconcentrated" implies that it should not be an automatic trigger for even more licenses. But you are not in the California State Legislature. Having brakes on consumption through limiting geographical availability is a basic tenet of alcohol control. The overconcentration limit is determined by population, so does not permanently cap available licenses, but legislators still find themselves pressured to request more through district bill. This bill would shield them from any accountability through its automatic issuance. Worse, by granting these additional licenses in perpetuity to any county that is overconcentrated, it shrugs off the entire concept that alcohol causes harm.
Position Letters:


SB 1224
Version: 5/24
Status: ASSEMBLY GO
Summary: Alcoholic veverage control: on-sale general license: County of Riverside.
Would create an exemption for the alcohol license of the Riverside County Fairgrounds that would remove the minimum food sales requirement to maintain bona fide eating place status.
Author(s): Ochoa Bogh (R-Redlands)
AJ Position: WATCH - The bill authors assert that this loophole is necessary because food trucks have offset revenue from the fairgrounds food concessainaires to the point that they do not meet the requirements for bona fide eating place, even though substantial food sales continue. Absent evidence to the contrary, we do not see this as increasing risk from sales at this location.
Position Letters:


SB 1371
Version: 5/24
Status: ASSEMBLY GO
Summary: Alcoholic beverage control: proof of age.
Allows stadia incorporating biometric data to verify age to bolster defenses against illegal sales to minors.
Author(s): Bradford (D-Inglewood)
AJ Position: OPPOSE - Neither law enforcement, nor ABC, nor any relative of someone served illegally, has any ability to analyze, interpret, and accept or reject a biometric surveillance system that is completely in-house. It gives the entity employing this method of age verification carte blanche to assert the person was carded even if there was no interaction whatsoever with the person in question. Needless to say, this seems to be a request of the Inglewood stadium that also thinks it deserve 4 a.m. last call times.
Position Letters:

 


We are now including in the bill list both the Alcohol Justice (AJ) position on bills as well as the position of California Alcohol Policy Alliance (CAPA) on select bills of concern to the statewide coalition.


Archived Legislative Summaries (Prior Sessions)

COMPLETE LEGISLATIVE SUMMARIES

2022 CA Complete Legislative Summary pdf
2021 CA Complete Legislative Summary pdf
2019-2020 CA Complete Legislative Summary pdf
2018 CA Complete Legislative Summary
pdf

2017 CA Complete Legislative Summary pdf
2016 CA Complete Legislative Summary pdf
2015 CA Complete Legislative Summary pdf
2014 CA Complete Legislative Summary
pdf
2013 CA Complete Legislative Summary pdf
   CAPA SUMMARIES

   2019-2020 CAPA Summary pdf
   2018 CAPA Summary pdf
   2017 CAPA Summary
pdf