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Californians will voter whether to overturn fast-food law

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SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — A voter initiative that would overturn a California law aimed at raising wages and improving working conditions for fast food workers has qualified for next year’s ballot, authorities said Tuesday.

The referendum raised more than 623,000 valid voter signatures to be placed on the Nov. 5, 2024, election ballot, Secretary of State Shirley N. Weber announced.

The first-of-its-kind law, passed last year, establishes a 10-member council empowered to set minimum wages as well as standards for hours and working conditions for California’s fast food workers. It would affect some 550,000 workers statewide.

Two industry groups, the International Franchise Association and the National Restaurant Association, promoted the referendum that would leave its fate to voters.

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On Dec. 30, a Sacramento County Superior Court judge temporarily blocked the state from implementing the law while ballot signatures were counted and verified.

The measure would have raised employee wages to as much as $22 an hour by the end of this year for chains such as McDonald’s and Starbucks that have 100 or more outlets nationwide.

California’s current minimum wage for all workers is $15.50 an hour.

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