Cronyism from Governor favors huge food chain donor.

Panera Bread exempt from California’s $20 minimum wage law after owner donated to Gov. Newsom: report.

California Governor Gavin Newsom has signed a law that exempts Panera Bread from a new $20-an-hour minimum wage hike for fast food chains. This comes after the billionaire owner of several of the chain’s locations made a donation to Newsom’s campaign.

The Fast Food Accountability and Standards Recovery Act (FAST Act), signed by Newsom in September, initially aimed to increase the minimum wage for fast food workers from $16 to $20 an hour. However, the law now includes a unique exception for “chains that bake bread and sell it as a standalone item.”

This carve-out benefits businesses like the Flynn Restaurant Group, a company owned by billionaire Greg Flynn, which operates numerous Panera Bread locations in California.