Meanwhile, California has a plethora of other crazy new laws that take effect on New Year’s Day!
January 1st is always a crazy day in California. That is the day a suite of new rules and regulations, thrust upon the population by the super-progressive legislature and signed into law by the handsome but hapless Gov. Gavin Newsom, come into effect.
And even though voters still haven’t approved a measure regulating the fast food industry, that wasn’t stopping its implementation by the state. However, one intrepid group won a temporary restraining order to stop the state’s plan to implement measures on Jan. 1, including raising the industry’s minimum wage to $22 per hour.
Save Local Restaurants filed a lawsuit on Thursday saying California couldn’t enact AB 257, or the FAST Act, also known as Fast Food Recovery Act, as planned after the group on Dec. 5 submitted a petition signed by more than 1 million Californians to put the measure on the ballot in November 2024.
Save Local Restaurants includes International Franchise Association, the National Restaurant Association, and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.
The law would give an appointed 10-member state council, or “Fast Food Council,” wide-ranging authority over fast food and fast casual restaurants in California with more than 100 locations nationwide.
The council could raise the minimum wage to $22 per hour in 2023 and up to 3.5% annually after that. It could also set minimum standards for working conditions, maximum hours worked, security, and more.
Normally, a petition for a referendum would put such a law on hold. However, the California Department of Industrial Relations (DIR) said it would implement the law as planned.
DIR said the law should only be put on hold once the petition signatures are verified and the ballot referendum is formally approved, which could take weeks.
“Since the inception of the right of referendum over a century ago, approximately 52 referendum measures have made it on to the statewide ballot, over 50% of which ended up repealed by voters,” said Nielsen Merksamer attorney Kurt Oneto, who helped file the lawsuit, in a statement. “Not in a single one of those prior instances did the State ever attempt to temporarily enforce the referred statute while the signature review process was underway.”
This is an important fight. The Service Employees International Union (SEIU) is promoting the measure and wants to take it nationwide.
SEIU is questioning if all million signatures the Save Local Restaurants Coalition collected to block the law are valid.
Assuming the signatures are valid, the bill wouldn’t go into effect until voters have their say in November 2024 whether to adopt such a law.
If the bill passes, SEIU hopes copycat legislation will follow in other states. That would “clearly” have “anti-growth ramifications,” said Andy Barish, Jefferies analyst, in an analyst note in September.
Meanwhile, California has many other crazy new laws that take effect on New Year’s Day! None of them will enhance the quality of life for Californians, and one makes the state a “transgender youth haven.”
Minors who arrive in California to obtain transgender surgeries or other medical treatment are safe from repercussions by other states. The law blocks out-of-state subpoenas and record sharing by doctors.
It also allows judges to make child custody determinations if one parent resides in another state where custody is revoked from a California parent supporting transgender treatment.
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