In a quick turn of events earlier this week, the office of California Governor Gavin Newsom initiated a major rewrite of several provisions in the FAST Act (the Fast-Food Accountability and Standards Recovery Act) and submitted them to the Senate, which accepted them and passed the legislation on a vote of 21 – 12. The Assembly then quickly concurred with the Senate version of AB 257 and sent it to Newsom’s desk to await his signature. Many in the fast-food industry are still working on the bill with the hopes of the Governor vetoing the final product, but as it was his office that authored the most significant changes to make the legislation more palatable, it is expected that he will sign it into law. Among the many changes made by the Governor, he increased the threshold number of restaurants necessary to be covered as a “fast food chain” to 100 sharing a common national brand. He also rewrote the definition of fast-food restaurant to clarify when a restaurant is to be considered part of a fast-food chain. Further, the composition of the Fast-Food Council was decreased from the original 13 members down to 10, with 2 being franchisor reps, 2 representing franchisees, 2 fast-food employees along with 2 advocates of fast-food employees (read: union reps), and one each from the Department of Industrial Relations and the Office of Business and Economic Development. He stripped joint employer provisions from the bill, and set a cap for the 2023 fast food minimum wage that the Council could establish at $22 per hour. He also included an annual increase cap on CPI-driven wage increases of 3.5 percent. There will be much more to come on this issue – possible legal action challenging the law? – and we will certainly advise you on any further developments as they occur going forward.