The 5 Worst New California Bills That Deserve An In-Depth Review – Lake County Record-Bee
Late August in Sacramento sees a rush of hundreds of bills decided by the California legislature. Some pass and are sent to the governor’s office for his decision to sign or not. Some are sent to oblivion. Unfortunately, most bills increase tax or regulatory burdens for California citizens and businesses.
Here are five of the worst that should be deep-six. Or if they pass, Governor Gavin Newsom vetoed.
Assembly Bill 257 is from Assemblyman Chris Holden, D-Pasadena. Misleadingly titled the Fast Food Restaurants Accountability and Restoration of Standards Act, it would over-regulate the fast food industry, drive up costs for consumers and kill jobs. Many fast food restaurants, already damaged by COVID lockdowns, would close.
It would establish a new bureaucracy, the Fast Food Industry Council, within the Industrial Relations Department. This would set wage and other standards for the industry, in addition to the state’s existing minimum wage and other regulations. And it would enable infringement suits not only against local operations, but also against parent companies in other states, discouraging them from setting up or expanding here.
As Pretzel Power CEO Alex Johnson pointed out, already “California has the strictest labor laws and highest wage laws in the nation to ensure healthy and sustainable work environments.”
Senate Bill 457 is from Senator Anthony Portantino, D-La Canada Flintridge. It would pay California families $2,500 per member, up to $7,500, for not owning a car, through a state tax refund. Just making sure someone isn’t using a neighbor’s car would be a regulatory nightmare. This would not help poor families forced to travel long distances to work due to the high cost of housing.
Assembly Bill 1717 is from Assemblywoman Cecilia Aguiar-Curry, D-Davis. This would expand the list of jobs under “governing wages” for public works projects carried out by private companies. These salaries are usually much higher than the market rate, often tripling or quadrupling the cost to taxpayers. State Sen. Pat Bates, R-Laguna Niguel, told Us the bill would “hinder and significantly increase the costs of fuel reduction projects, especially in low-income communities.”
Assembly Bill 2183 is from Assemblyman Mark Stone, D-Santa Cruz. He would force the unionization of agricultural workers by ending secret ballots, which are the hallmark of democracy. Employees would be asked to sign representation “cards” instead, with more than 50% of public signatures bringing unionization. Those who refuse to unionize may be intimidated. It would also force employers to post an unreasonable bond to dispute a card “vote”.
Unionization votes should follow the same rules as other organizations in California. As the electoral processes themselves are controversial throughout the country, now is not the time to introduce an anti-democratic system.
—The Editorial Board, Southern California News Group