Tucked inside Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger’s voluminous $143 billion budget proposal is a single-line spending provision that could mean big changes for California’s employment laws.

The governor’s plan allocates slightly less than $500,000 to revive the Industrial Welfare Commission, the five-member body that regulates workers’ wages, conditions and hours. The Legislature de-funded — and effectively deactivated — the commission in 2004 amid complaints that it failed to consider a minimum wage hike.

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