(KTXL) — A proposal going through the state legislature could mean changes to how street food vendors operate across California.
Food vendors came to the Capitol to stress if the bill becomes law, they will be able to cut through the state bureaucracy, something vendors argue will make their jobs a lot easier.
Food vendors kept busy at the Capitol Wednesday, but not just to feed the community. They were here to send a message to lawmakers to pass Senate Bill 972.
“Street food vendors are a priority for California,” State Senator Lena Gonzalez said.
State Senator Lena Gonzalez of Long Beach authored the legislation and said that the proposal would cut red tape and simplify the retail food code, something supporters say would make it easier for these vendors to receive health permits. Health-department-approved food carts are necessary for vendors to do their jobs.
“Food vendors deserve our love. They deserve our attention, they deserve our support,” Gonzalez said.
As the bill goes through the Capitol, the California Travel Association, or Cal-Travel, has expressed concerns.
In a statement, they said that they support vendors, but worry about food prep and health standards.
“SB 972 strips away some of the local tools currently available to protect the health and safety of the public.”
But these Los Angeles food vendors said health is always a priority.
“That is what we want. We want to be in compliance,” Marcel Douglas said.
Marcel Douglas and her fellow vendors stress the state must do more to allow them to grow and that is where they hope SB 972 will make all the difference.
“This will definitely help street vendors,” Douglas said. “To support this bill is helping street vendors build economy, build generational wealth, sustain themselves. Supporting us means you are supporting small business but also supporting our families.”
SB 972 just passed the Assembly this afternoon. It now needs to pass the Senate. Only then it will reach the governor’s desk.