News State Preempts King County Restaurant Guidelines
posted by February 22 at 17:26 PMon
Last Thursday, I Slogged about a bill that would preempt new King County health regulations that are set to go in place in August.
Both the state rules and the KC rules would require fast food chains to post nutritional info about all items on the menu. However, the state rules are weaker than King County’s. KC rules would require the information to be at the point of sale; the state rules would just require that they be “prominently displayed.” And most important, KC’s rules would apply to more restaurants—about 1,400 more individual restaurants. (King County’s rules apply to restaurant chains with 10 stores or more. The state rules apply to restaurant chains with 25 stores or more.)
A bitter dispute over the bill between KC health regulators and the Washington Restaurant Association, which wanted the weaker state bill to apply (and preempt the county rule), ended up tabling the bill.
Substitute legislation calls for a study. The substitute legislation also puts the KC rules on hold until the state comes up with new legislation after the study.
King County Health spokesman James Apa says the state shouldn’t be able to prevent local jurisdictions from implementing local standards and says they strongly oppose the substitute legislation.