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California Franchisee Protection Bill Passes Final Committee

The streets of San Francisco
Franchises throughout California, including those on the streets of San Francisco, could see protection. photo/Thomas Hawk

SACRAMENTO — Despite heavy lobbying from the International Franchise Association against the bill, franchisee-sponsored Senate Bill 610 passed its last committee hearing in the California Assembly this morning.

Senator Hannah-Beth Jackson, (D-Santa Barbara)
Sen. Hannah-Beth Jackson, photo/wikipedia

Authored by Senator Hannah-Beth Jackson (D-Santa Barbara), Senate Bill 610 seeks to protect the duty of good faith and fair dealing in franchise relationships, protect a franchisee's right to sell a franchised business, prohibit unfair franchisee terminations and reinforce the right of franchisees to join and participate in franchisee associations. It is supported by McDonald's franchise owners Ed Carter and Kathryn Slater-Carter, the Coalition of Franchisee Associations, the Asian American Hotel Owners Association and other organizations, such as Small Business California and  Change to Win. Some 736 individuals wrote in to lawmakers in support of the bill and its franchisee protections.

The International Franchise Association, California Chamber of Commerce, California Grocers Association and others objected to the bill.

Regarding the win in this last of the committee hearings, Robert Purvin, chair of the American Association of Franchisees and Dealers, which sponsored Senate Bill 610, states, "One more step forward to protect franchisee rights in California." A number of individuals watching the bill had thought it would not pass, to which Purvin replies, "The reports of the death of SB-610 have been greatly exaggerated."

Bob Purvin

The bill will be heard in the next few days on the full floor of the Assembly, where it is expected to pass. However, fierce lobbying of Governor Jerry Brown to kill it is expected by the International Franchise Association and franchisors from across the country.

In regard to the bill's progress toward becoming California law, Purvin declares, "Onward."

In the Committee on Business, Professions and Consumer Protection session that had almost two dozen bills to go through, the complex debate over California's Senate Bill 610 took a whopping 49 minutes. The bill's author, Senator Hannah-Beth Jackson (D-Santa Barbara), started the segment by explaining why franchisees need good faith protection from franchisors.

An audio recording of the hearing can be accessed by clicking on the triangle below (not available on iPhones). The mp3 recording can be downloaded by clicking this link.

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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