SB-946, Ricardo Lara’s Monumental Street Vending Legalization Bill, Approved By Legislature — Now On To Governor!

On Monday the Assembly passed Ricardo Lara’s monumental street vending regulation bill, SB 946, and sent it back to the Senate for re-approval, a step which was made necessary by some minor amendments. Yesterday, putting a successful end to a seven month legislative process, the Senate approved it 24 to 12. It is now in the hands of the governor.

This bill, if signed by Jerry Brown, will put severe limits on the ability of cities to regulate or ban street vending. In particular, it will make it impossible to ban them from certain areas without objective health and safety concerns and it will make it impossible for any city’s regulatory scheme to include approval by surrounding businesses or property owners. It explicitly defines the allowable range of “objective” concerns to exclude community animus.

These two clauses alone will radically alter the situation in Los Angeles, where zillionaires of all stripes, but especially BIDs, have fought long and hard to include them in any street vending law here probably because they’re so easily abused. This bill would, among many, many other consequential effects, overturn the City’s ridiculously specific bans on street vending on Hollywood Blvd and prohibit individual City Councilmembers from unilaterally banning vending in their districts at the behest of BIDs and other zillionaire-aligned interest groups.

Turn the page for a transcription of the legislature’s analysis of the final version of the bill.


Existing law authorizes a local authority, by ordinance or resolution, to adopt requirements for the public safety regulating any type of vending and the time, place, and manner of vending from a vehicle upon a street.

This bill would prohibit a local authority, as defined, from regulating sidewalk vendors, except in accordance with the provisions of the bill. The bill would provide that a local authority is not required to adopt a new program to regulate sidewalk vendors if the local authority has established an existing program that substantially complies with the provisions of the bill. The bill would apply these provisions to a chartered or general law city, county, or city and county.

The bill would require a local authority that elects to adopt a sidewalk vending program to, among other things, not require a sidewalk vendor to operate within specific parts of the public right-of-way, except when that restriction is directly related to objective health, safety, or welfare concerns, and not restrict sidewalk vendors to operate only in a designated neighborhood or area, except as specified. The bill would authorize a local authority to, by ordinance or resolution, adopt additional requirements regulating the time, place, and manner of sidewalk vending, as specified, if the requirements are directly related to objective health, safety, or welfare concerns. The bill would also authorize a local authority to prohibit sidewalk vendors in areas located within the immediate vicinity of a permitted certified farmers’ market and a permitted swap meet, as specified, and to restrict or prohibit sidewalk vendors within an area designated for a temporary special permit issued by the local authority, as specified. A violation would be punishable only by an administrative fine, as specified, pursuant to an ability-to-pay determination, and proceeds would be deposited in the treasury of the local authority.

The bill would require the dismissal of any criminal prosecutions under any local ordinance or resolution regulating or prohibiting sidewalk vendors that have not reached final judgment. The bill would also authorize a person who is currently serving, or who completed, a sentence, or who is subject to a fine, for a conviction of a misdemeanor or infraction for sidewalk vending, as specified, to petition for dismissal of the sentence, fine, or conviction.


Image of Ricardo Lara is ©2018 MichaelKohlhaas.Org and has this and that to do with this Ricardo Lara here. The quote is accurate and may be found in Emily Alpert Reyes’s January 2018 LA Times article.

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One thought on “SB-946, Ricardo Lara’s Monumental Street Vending Legalization Bill, Approved By Legislature — Now On To Governor!”

  1. Hey Mike, only just discovered your blog nonetheless salute you for giving a hard time to the BIDs. The concept is outrageous- granting exclusive legal powers and privileges to those who own land, essentially a semi-feudal state of affairs- but I’ve never seen anyone articulate this until finding the blog, having only been attuned to local politics for the past 4 years or so. I’ll be following.

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