Jack McEvoy on August 19, 2022
Democratic legislators in California are looking to pass a bill which would create state-run fast food councils to slap new labor regulations on fast food chains that could raise the inflated prices of food across the state.
Assembly Bill 257 will establish a state-run panel that would set wages, hours and working conditions standards for California’s entire fast food industry; such measures would be enforced by the California Division of Labor Standards Enforcement, according to the bill’s text. However, the bill’s regulations may force consumers to pay up to 20% more for fast-f0od, according to an analysis of the bill released Wednesday conducted by the UC Riverside Business Center for Economic Forecasting and Development and funded by the International Franchise Association.
The report argues that the bill would effectively establish a new food tax which would hurt consumers and restaurants alike as the increased costs would exacerbate record-high levels of inflation. The bill’s potential to raise food costs comes amid already skyrocketing domestic food costs and fears of a global food crisis.
California would also be the first state to assign labor liability to fast food corporations rather than just their individual franchise owners if Assembly Bill 257 were to pass. The bill’s provisions also would allow workers and the state to hold the entire fast food franchise responsible if employees claim minimum wage violations or unpaid overtime at a franchise store.
Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom has not taken a position on the measure, but his Department of Finance claims that it would increase delays in the state’s labor enforcement system and result in “ongoing costs,” CalMatters reported. The law is currently awaiting a vote on the California Senate floor after passing through the appropriations committee.
Under the proposed legislation, a smaller food-sector council, which can make recommendations to the state-run panel, may also be established in cities with a population of more than 200,000.
Newsom’s office and the California Department of Finance did not immediately respond to the Daily Caller News Foundation’s request for comment.
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