Back in 2003, the Entertainment Commission was formed in order to take over the permit process from the overburdened police department. This in turn took a great deal of control out of the cops' hands.
The new laws are intended to clarify the protocol for club owners and promoters, making them more accountable for late-night parties and encouraging them to form a united front against violence, while allowing the police to issue citations to loiterers within ten feet of bars and clubs between 9 p.m. and 3 a.m. The police have taken issue with the new permit laws, saying they would "open the floodgates for all-night reveling, boisterousness and general bedlam," and have thus created serious delays in the whole legislation process.
UPDATE: Apparently the police department has reason to be concerned. This 2007 Civil Grand Jury report (PDF) concluded that aside from the Entertainment Commission's strength in granting permits, the agency had two major weaknesses: 1) They have not held up to their end of the bargain in regards to enforcing mandates and promoting entertainment (other than clubs), and 2.) Communication between the Commission and other government agencies was lacking on all levels. Halloween in the Castro is a great example of this.
The Examiner was told by the police department that officers were being paid overtime this past weekend as part of a nightclub task force in response to a particularly violent weekend the previous week. The task force also shut down a lot of illegal late night parties over the weekend, which might have been legal had the new legislation been passed. According to Supervisor Dufty, the new laws would have enabled the Entertainment Commission to much more expeditiously shut down the problem nightclubs, in which the aforementioned violence had occurred.