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California Lawmakers Shelve, Gut Hundreds Of Bills In Rapid-Fire Sessions


California lawmakers shelved, gutted or advanced hundreds of bills on Friday in rapid-fire committee hearings at the state Capitol.

Among the high-profile bills stalled was SB 384 which would have allowed cities to let bars stay open until 4 a.m.

The Assembly Appropriations Committee transformed the bill into a proposal for more study rather than moving it forward -- potentially disappointing some businesses and late-night merrymakers.

“There's no need to study anything,” Democratic Sen. Scott Wiener of San Francisco, the bill’s author, said in a press release after today’s vote.

“There's nothing radical about letting local communities decide for themselves whether to let their bars and nightclubs go later," he added. "It's embarrassing that California shuts down its nightlife so early. We're not going to give up. Nightlife matters to our economy and culture, and California's one-size-fits-all approach to closing time needs to be reformed.”

Also on Friday, the Senate Appropriations committee shelved several bills to govern the labeling and marketing of marijuana. A state marijuana bureau is finalizing similar rules.

Lawmakers also put on hold controversial union-backed legislation, AB 1250. It would have imposed strict new standards on counties when they contract out for government services. Opponents had said it could disrupt long-standing county contracts with health and social service providers. It was referred for further review next year.

The same panel was cheered by Second Amendment advocates when it weakened a bill that would have limited individuals to one firearms purchase every 30 days. That bill now won’t apply to long guns, though an existing law already imposes the same limit on handgun sales.

“This is an important win for current and future gun owners,” said Craig DeLuz, spokesman for the Firearms Policy Coalition in a press release. “The rationing of Civil Rights should never be tolerated.”

Finally, lawmakers stopped legislation that would have allowed for more review of the Cadiz water project, a disputed proposal to pump water from the Mojave Desert.

The project is opposed by U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein and California Gov. Jerry Brown.

“I’ve been fighting Cadiz and its efforts to extract unsustainable levels of water from the Mojave Desert for decades,” Feinstein said in a written statement. “It’s unfortunate that Cadiz’s ability to stymie commonsense environmental protections has temporarily succeeded once again.”

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