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Gavin Newsom pushed minimum wage exemption that would benefit donors who contributed more than $160,000 to campaigns: report

Gavin Newsom pushed minimum wage exemption that would benefit donors who contributed more than 0,000 to campaigns: report

California Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom pushed for an exemption that would allow major donor and Panera Bread franchisee Greg Flynn to circumvent the state's new minimum wage law, according to Bloomberg.

Flynn, who owns two dozen Panera chains in California, gave $100,000 to help Newsom stave off a recall effort and $64,800 to the governor's 2022 re-election campaign. seconds at Bloomberg. California's new minimum wage law will raise workers' pay from $16 an hour to $20 an hour at fast-food restaurants with more than 60 locations nationwide, except for chains that bake and sell stand-alone bread like a menu item from September 15. 2023.

Flynn also attended the same high school as Newsom outside of San Francisco, when Newsom was a freshman and Flynn was a senior, according to Bloomberg, citing a yearbook. The two have business connections dating back to 2014 when Flynn bought a Napa Valley resort from Newsom's company, and that same year, Newsom reported income from Flynn's company.

The contract Newsom benefited from began under the previous owners and was not renewed after about a year into Flynn's ownership of the asset, according to Bloomberg.

In September 2023, Newsom was he asked why bread makers like Panera and Boudin Sourdough Bakery were getting special exemptions from the law, and the governor told reporters that including the provision was the “sausage-making part” of the bill and that “it's the nature of the negotiation”.

Flynn is worth at least $1.1 billion and controls an empire of 2,600 franchises for brands including Applebee's, Pizza Hut, Taco Bell and Wendy's, according to Bloomberg. The only other franchise brand owned by Flynn in California is Applebee's.

The billionaire originally tried to have Panera not considered a fast-food restaurant, arguing that it was a fast-casual chain, according to Bloomberg. The Service Employees Union, which was orchestrating the bill, later decided to create the breadbasket to convince Newsom to sign the bill because of the governor's relationship with Flynn.

The law too empowers a ten-member Fast Food Council to create the minimum wage, enforce working conditions, and require training standards for fast food employees. Like a result of the wage increase, some restaurant chains have said they will have to raise prices to adjust for higher expenses, including Chipotle and McDonalds.

Newsom's office and Flynn's company did not immediately respond to a request for comment from the Daily Caller News Foundation.

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