California Bill Done for Year, after Intense IFA-Led Lobbying
California Senate Bill 610—the one that opponents said “could have severely harmed the franchise model in the state”—was defeated last week, and is out of commission for the year.
“This represents a critically important victory for the IFA and the franchising industry,” said Steve Caldeira, International Franchise Association president and CEO, in a letter. “This victory is the direct result of an intense two-month integrated lobbying, grassroots communications and public affairs campaign.
The bill passed the California Senate and the Assembly Judiciary Committee in June, and was hailed by advocates as protecting individual franchisees against excessive power held by franchisors.
The IFA threw everything it had against the bill, according to Caldeira, and gave a glimpse into its operating mode as other states bring forward their own bills to change franchising relationships.
“While the proponents of the bill felt momentum was on their side, we knew from the get-go that the Business & Professions Committee was going to be our best opportunity to defeat the legislation,” Caldeira wrote. “As such, IFA’s campaign swung into action following the June IFA board meeting in Chicago.”
Key to the effort was the deployment of grassroots field teams in California, which were in turn able to engage “hundreds of franchisees and franchisors in Committee members’ districts who opposed the bill,” according to Caldeira.