Democrats in the California legislature are working to pass a bill that would establish state-run fast food councils with the authority to impose additional labor laws on fast food businesses. These new regulations could result in an increase in the already high cost of food throughout the state.
Assembly Bill 257 will establish a state-run body that will set salaries, hours, and working conditions standards for the entirety of California's fast food business. According to the wording of the bill, such measures will be implemented by the California Division of Labor Standards Enforcement. According to an analysis of the bill that was released on Wednesday, conducted by the UC Riverside Business Center for Economic Forecasting and Development and funded by the International Franchise Association, the bill's regulations may force consumers to pay up to 20% more for fast food. The research was funded by the International Franchise Association.
According to the findings of the analysis, the measure would have the effect of instituting a new food tax, which would be detrimental to both customers and businesses, since the resulting increase in prices would make already historically high levels of inflation much worse. The possibility that the bill could make food more expensive comes at a time when prices for food in the United States are already increasing and there are fears of a global food crisis.
If Assembly Bill 257 is successful in getting passed, then California will be the first state in the nation to extend labor responsibility protections to fast food corporations rather than merely their individual franchise owners. The provisions of the bill would also allow workers and the state to hold the whole fast food franchise liable if employees at a franchise restaurant claimed that they were not paid minimum wage or overtime for work that was performed beyond their regular shift.
According to CalMatters, Democratic Governor Gavin Newsom has not taken a stance on the legislation, but his Department of Finance asserts that it will result in increased delays in the state's labor enforcement system and "ongoing costs." After advancing through the appropriations committee, the bill has been brought to the floor of the California Senate where it is presently awaiting a vote.
In cities with a population of more than 200,000 people, the proposed legislation would also allow for the establishment of a more localized food-sector council, which would have the ability to provide suggestions to the state-run panel.
The request for a statement made by the Daily Caller News Foundation was not immediately met with a response from either the office of Newsom or the California Department of Finance.
The preceding is a summary of an article that originally appeared on DAILY CALLER.