AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli

CA Legislative Republicans Demand Answers from Newsom on Panera Exemption, Newsom Dodges Scrutiny

On March 1, California Republican legislators demanded an investigation into the FAST Act exemptions for dozens of Panera Bread franchises and for its CEO Greg Flynn, allegedly due to his relationship with Governor Gavin Newsom. 

As RedState wrote, Flynn’s restaurant holdings were reportedly exempted from the $20 minimum-wage law which went into effect on April 1. 

Republican State Senate Minority Leader Brian Jones led the charge for answers.

Some Republican lawmakers said they had little faith in the ability of California’s Democratic Supermajority Legislature or other top Democrats in state government to investigate the issue. Assemblyman Joe Patterson, R-Rocklin, went as far as to say the FBI should get involved.
“Frankly, I don’t think the California Attorney General is capable of doing that,” Patterson said. “I think it has to be an outside agency that investigates this.”

Newsom claimed that Panera Bread may not have been part of the so-called “bakery exemption” at all, but it was confirmed that multiple unnamed restaurants are. Thanks to the SEIU, who led the negotiations with the fast-food restaurants, these owners were allowed to sign non-disclosure agreements. On March 26, Newsom signed AB610 into law which secured those exemptions. 

Jones updated on X regarding the Republicans request for all the records related to the bakery exemption and Panera Bread.

UPDATE: Governor Newsom “responded” to our request for all records relating to the “bakery exemption” for Panera Bread. Not surprisingly, his response is a nothing-burger that dodges accountability and continues to conceal the truth from the public. If he was really innocent, he would be eager to clear his name by making these records public. Clearly, he is still hiding something. #FixCalifornia

Any time Newsom does a song and dance he is either working on a cover-up story, or working to mitigate damage. Maybe both. Whatever the case, he is continues to stonewall.

KCRA Capitol Correspondent Ashley Zavala has constructed a timeline of the FAST Act legislation from inception to the bakery exemptions. Since the law went into effect on Monday, it has resulted in increased food prices, owners scaling back hours and laying off workers, and some businesses have announced that they will close locations.

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