The bill passed by the Democratic Legislature this week creates a 10-member council appointed by the Governor and state legislative leaders with nearly carte blanche authority to fix wages, benefits and working conditions at most fast-food restaurants. This is a recipe for higher restaurant prices and lower business and job growth.
The state’s $15 an hour minimum wage is already among the highest in the U.S., but the council could raise it as high as $22 next year and an additional 3.5% every year after that. It could also require that employers provide paid vacation or “protest days” off as some tech companies do. . . .
The economic damage will extend beyond fast food since other businesses such as hotels, retail and food delivery services compete with restaurants for workers. Their extra labor costs will also be passed onto consumers.