America’s leading antibusiness policy incubator, also known as the state of California, is at it again. The state Assembly passed the so-called FAST Recovery Act in January. It was approved by the Senate Appropriations Committee on Aug. 11. The next stop will be a vote on the Senate floor, followed by Gov. Gavin Newsom’s desk. If the bill becomes law, it will drive up fast-food prices as much as 22% and wipe out the franchise business model, which provides nearly 800,000 jobs in the state.
Why single out the quick-service restaurant industry? The bill’s union backers, chiefly the Service Employees International Union, accuse quick-service franchisees, without evidence, of being particularly prone to labor-law violations. In reality, data from California’s Department of Industrial Relations show that the industry commits far fewer labor, wage and hour violations than other industries.