The CA Bill That Would Shut Down Every Small Restaurant

The State of California has one of the worst proposals of any legislature in the country this year with a new bill that would force every restaurant and food service business in the state to commission an expensive “risk assessment” test for every menu item, a test that could cost thousands of dollars for every food item sold. This outrageous and cost prohibitive testing would certainly cause all but the biggest chain restaurants to go out of business almost instantly.

In another exercise in nanny-statism, California’s State Senate Democrats want this “risk assessment” conducted to determine whether food being sold “contributes significantly to a significant public health epidemic.”

The bill, Senate Bill 747, is an addition to the current health and safety codes and is currently set for a hearing on April 17. It was written and introduced by Sen. Mark DeSauliner (D, Concord).

The introduction of the bill clearly says that the law would require the food service companies to pay the state for the testing in order to fill state coffers and notes that without the assessment, the state would have the right to shut an offending restaurant down.

This bill, known as the Public Health Epidemic Protection Act of 2013, would require the department, for every product intended for consumer consumption for which it has credible evidence that the product significantly contributes to a significant public epidemic, to conduct a risk assessment evaluation to determine whether the product contributes significantly to a significant public health epidemic, as defined, and whether the adverse public health risk would have a fiscal impact on the state of $50,000,000 or more. The bill would authorize the department to charge the manufacturer of the product for the reasonable costs of producing the risk assessment and would create the Public Health Fund, to be used by the department, upon appropriation by the Legislature, to fund the program. If the department determines that the criteria are met, the bill would require the manufacturer to create, for approval of the department, a public health impact report (PHIR) containing specified information, including a list of adverse public health impacts and a mitigation plan for those impacts. The bill would authorize the department to enforce the PHIR and would authorize the department to restrict or suspend sales of the product in the state if the PHIR is insufficient or if the manufacturer is not complying with the terms of the PHIR.

As California politics watchdog Stephen Frank points out, “Pass this and hundreds of thousands of Californians are out of work on Day One–and tens of thousands of Californians have lost there investments and businesses.”

But there are other, perhaps unintended, consequences in the offing, here. This law would benefit large, multi-million-dollar, national chain restaurants in as much as it would eliminate their competition at a local level. Mom and Pop restaurants, small local chains, and one-location restaurants could never afford to have expensive tests done for every food item they sell. But the big chains have a whole country of locations and customers upon which to spread the costs of this “risk assessment.”

The big chains could afford the cost of these tests, but small restaurants would just have to close their doors before the state’s inspectors do it for them.

Further, this requirement would tend to limit menu options at restaurants as those that could afford the tests would cut menu choices down in order to keep testing costs lower. Additionally, menus wouldn’t change very often, again, to avoid constant costly state testing requirements. This would prevent restaurants from trying new menu items to appeal to the changing tastes of customers.

And this is not to even mention that the expense of eating out would go up as restaurants pass on the costs of these expensive tests to customers.

Interestingly, the bill’s sponsor, Sen. DeSauliner, is a party jumper and until the year 2000 was a Republican. DeSauliner is also a big opponent of the Second Amendment and is supported by the anti-gun advocacy group the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence.

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Posted by on April 13, 2013.
Filed under Big government, Business, corruption, Culture Of Corruption, Democrats, Douchebag Of The Day, Economics, Liberals.
Warner Todd Huston is a Chicago-based freelance writer, has been writing opinion editorials and social criticism since early 2001 and is featured on many websites such as Andrew Breitbart's BigGovernment.com and BigJournalism.com, RightWingNews.com, CanadaFreePress.com, RightPundits.com, StoptheACLU.com, Human Events Magazine, among many, many others. Additionally, he has been a frequent guest on talk-radio programs to discuss his opinion editorials and current events.He has also written for several history magazines and appears in the new book "Americans on Politics, Policy and Pop Culture" which can be purchased on amazon.com. He is also the owner and operator of PubliusForum.com. Feel free to contact him with any comments or questions, EMAIL Warner Todd Huston: igcolonel .at. hotmail.com"The only end of writing is to enable the reader better to enjoy life, or better to endure it." --Samuel Johnson

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  • jim_m

    No restaurants are going to go out of business. At least not right away. As the article states, the bill gives the state the right to charge the manufacturer for the cost of the risk assessment. I predict that this will be enforced selectively against owners who do not donate to the correct political party or in sufficient amounts. This is a shake down tool for the dems and little else.

    Expect this to be enforced against large chains first, since they are the ones with the deepest pockets and will be able to absorb the cost and pass it on to consumers the easiest.

    • LiberalNightmare

      Chick Fil A is in trouble.

  • GarandFan

    Since when have Democrats been concerned about ‘jobs’ in Kalifornia…unless, of course, they’re government UNION jobs.

  • Commander_Chico

    This is really an anti-sugar and anti-fat measure. It is a nanny state thing. I don’t think restaurants are the main target, soda and snack foods are.

    this is the bill: http://www.leginfo.ca.gov/pub/13-14/bill/sen/sb_0701-0750/sb_747_bill_20130222_introduced.html

    There is supposed to be evidence of some sort of public health “epidemic” caused by the product before the risk assessment is required. I suppose that would include obesity, heart disease, diabetes.

    I would like to see less fatties out on the street, but that is just my aesthetic sense. People do have a right to live off of Mountain Dew and Pringles if they want.

    • herddog505

      I’ve been to Europe.

      This pic ain’t exactly the whole truth, as you might say.

      • Commander_Chico

        Sure there are fatties in Europe, but generally the women there are in better shape. Women in the 40s and 50s in Paris and Madrid are way ahead of their American counterparts.

        They aren’t Thailand-slender in either place, but genetics plays a role. The fat ones are in Germany and the UK.