With the help of California’s fourth branch of government, the Service Employees International Union (SEIU), Gov. Gavin Newsom’s 2023-24 budget has a line item to resurrect the state’s Industrial Welfare Commission (IWC).

The IWC – which was defunded in 2004 – comes with troubling power, and the ability to sidestep public opinion against unpopular, anti-business policies, such as the FAST Recovery Act.

The FAST Act, which was signed into law last Labor Day by Gov. Gavin Newsom, sought to create an union-controlled council of bureaucrats to micromanage wages and other workplace standards at fast food restaurants across California. But voters were overwhelmingly opposed.

The people spoke up and a referendum to halt the law from going into effect gained over one million signatures. Currently, the FAST Recovery Act is on hold until the 2024 election next year. Unfortunately, the voters couldn’t stop unions from finding a way around the referendum.

By sneaking in a revival of the Industrial Welfare Commission (IWC) into the new budget, unions and lawmakers have found a way to circumvent the FAST Act ballot before voters have the chance to decide. The IWC, made up of five members appointed by the governor, was established to regulate wages, hours, and working conditions in California.

If this sounds familiar, that’s because it is essentially the FAST Act – but potentially worse.

Read more in the Orange County Register