Wednesday, April 4, 2012
By Jonathan Kauffman Wed., Mar. 28 2012
Assemblymember Bill Monning (D.-Monterey), who recently introduced a bill requiring food trucks to park no closer than 1,500 feet from any school during school hours, has just withdrawn the bill from the state legislature.
AB-1678 raised an outcry around the state because of its potential economic impact on street food. In a dense city such as San Francisco, for example, AB-1678 would have banned food trucks from 80 percent of the city.
However, mobile-food associations weren't content to let the bill stand. Matt Cohen of Off the Grid reports that Monning recently met with a group of industry associations from around the state, including Off the Grid and Southern California's Asociación de Loncheros. "We essentially said that criminalizing a class of food vendors when a whole other class of food establishments aren't addressed is inappropriate," Cohen says. By "other class" Cohen is referring to fast-food restaurants and convenience stores, which don't share the same restrictions.
This morning, Monning released a statement claiming that he will not give up on trying to prevent food trucks from selling unhealthy snacks to students. However, he acknowledged, "The challenge before us is working with a diverse group of stakeholders to establish a shared understanding about the adverse impacts of these practices and the necessity of a statewide legislative solution." In other words, AB-1678 needs to be thought through more closely."
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