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Experts Tell Lawmakers to Empower Franchised Small Business Owners

Franchisee Keith Miller, chair of the Coalition of Franchisee Associations
Franchisee Miller urges lawmakers to pass fair franchising bill. (photo:Raja)

SACRAMENTO — Three witnesses gave testimony Tuesday to California's Judiciary Committee on behalf of franchisees. Assemblyman Huffman, attorney Peter Lagarias and franchisee Keith Miller each urged representatives to pass Assembly Bill 2305, the Level Playing Field for Small Businessess Act.

Regarding franchisee Keith Miller and his testimony, Assemblyman Huffman said, "He is a Subway franchisee, who in no way wants to punish his franchisor. He wants to have a balanced relationship of fair dealings and good faith so that they can both be successful."

Bay-area franchise attorney Peter Lagarias pointed out that California's old laws allow considerable abuse among some franchisors and that it is time for updating. "Franchisors have uniformly put in language to effectively waive the statutes," he stated.

"Remember, it is the franchisee that pays local and state taxes, hires the local work force, supports the local youth leagues and represents the brand to the community," added franchisee Keith Miller. Addressing a full room, the head of the Coalition of Franchisee Associations stressed that he was a sandwich maker. Attorney testimonies of other bills had filled the morning session.

Assembly Bill 2305 made it through the committee with six Democratic votes in favor (Mike Feuer, Luis Alejo, Toni Atkins, Roger Dickinson, Bill Monning and Bob Wieckowski) and three Republican votes in block against it (Don Wagner, Jeff Gorell and Brian Jones). There was one abstention by Democrat Alyson Huber.

Click on the arrow below to hear the three statements in audio stream (12:19 minutes). The arrow (Flash) will not work if you are using Safari or Apple products. You can download the mp3 Podcast file below.

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Don Sniegowski is editor of Blue MauMau, the daily news journal for franchise & small business owners. Call him at +1 (270) 321-1268, tweet @bluemaumau or email