CCAGW Urges California Senate to Oppose AB 257 | Council For Citizens Against Government Waste

CCAGW Urges California Senate to Oppose AB 257

State Action

August 22, 2022

California Senate
1315 10th Street
Sacramento, California 95814

Dear Senator,

On behalf of the 243,849 members and supporters of the Council for Citizens Against Government Waste in California, I urge you to oppose AB 257, the Fast Food Accountability and Standards Recovery Act, or FAST Recovery Act, which would impose a new regulatory regime that would devastate small businesses across the state.

If enacted, AB 257 would establish a Fast Food Sector Council made up of 13 unelected representatives appointed by the governor, the speaker of the Assembly, and the Senate Rules Committee.  The council will have the unilateral power to establish a minimum standard on wages, hours, and other working conditions and training, absent a valid collective bargaining agreement that would be applied only to the fast food industry.  Under this bill, the council will have the ability to create exceptions to regulations established for the remainder of the restaurant industry by virtue of the business being labeled a “fast food restaurant.”

Not only does the creation of this council delegate the Legislature’s capacity to set standards, but also its application will hit the small business owners who own franchises the hardest.  The regulations that the council adopts will force small, locally owned restaurants to raise prices and reduce the number of employees.  As a result, many workers who are just entering the workforce will face decreased hours and opportunities.  The fast food industry already operates at a small margin, and the impact of these regulations while Californians continue to suffer from the impacts of inflation, particularly in food and gas prices, will likely force many restaurants to close their doors.  

There were 272 businesses that left California between 2018 and 2021.  If this bill becomes law, residents of the Golden State may have to travel across state lines to get a Big Mac, Whopper, or In-N-Out burger.  With costs rising and companies continuing to leave in droves, the Senate should not magnify the loss of businesses in the state.

I urge you to stand up to this effort to allow an unelected and unaccountable Fast Food Sector Council place increase burdens on small business owners, reduce employment opportunities for fast food workers, raise prices, and reduce choices for consumers by voting against AB 257, the FAST Recovery Act.

Tom Schatz
President, CCAGW

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