The Fast Food Accountability and Standards Recovery Act, or the so-called FAST Act, filed one year ago by then Assemblywoman and now-labor leader Lorena Gonzalez, must be pass the Assembly by Monday, January 31 or it will be dead for the current session. Although there’s hope the bill will not be approved, the reality is such that it appears likely it will move out of Assembly. The deadline results from the fact that Monday is the last day for a “holdover bill” from the prior year – which AB257 is – to clear the chamber. Although Gonzalez is no longer a legislator in California, her legislation has been picked up by and its chief sponsor now is Assemblymember Chris Holden, who also serves as Chairman of the Appropriations Committee. Among its many egregious provisions, the legislation would create a fast-food sector council – a star chamber, if you will – with 11 members (only one of which represents franchisees and another one which represents franchisors) appointed by government officials. This council will then be empowered to establish work rules, working conditions and pay rates for employees of franchise businesses in the fast-food industry in the Golden State! We will advise as soon as we can next week the resolve of AB257.