In what is big news for ridesharing companies and their customers, Gov. Quinn
today vetoed a bill that would have heavily regulated the industry.
The bill would have imposed statewide safety, pricing, taxing and other
regulations on commercial ridesharing – a system where companies primarily use
phone apps to connect with customers and operate as an alternative to the
established taxi companies. It also would have limited the ability for local
governments to create their own regulatory policies on this relatively new
The governor disagreed that the new legislation — nicknamed the “Uber Bill”
after prominent ridesharing and taxi alternative company Uber — would be
beneficial to the Illinois public.
Gov. Quinn said it wasn’t for Springfield to determine rideshare regulations for
the whole state.
“The principle of home rule is an important one,” Quinn said in a statement. “I
am vetoing this legislation because it would have mandated a one-size-fits-all
approach to a service that is best regulated at the local level.”
Traditionally, transportation services are regulated at the local level, the
governor’s office said, and this bill “would have limited the ability of home
rule units of government to adopt alternative approaches that best fit local
Jeffrey Junkas is the regional manager of state government relations at the
Property Casualty Insurers Association of America. He said his group is
disappointed by the governor’s decision to squelch the legislation.
“Our goal was to create a uniform industry standard for drivers, passengers and
the public,” Junkas said. “We support innovation and companies like Uber and
Lyft, but killing this legislation leaves the door open to insurance coverage
disputes because the rules aren’t uniform across the state.”
The legislation always faced staunch opposition from the taxi cap lobby hoping
to avoid a rising competitive industry.
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Junkas testified before the House committees in favor of the
legislation prior to the bill being approved for floor debate.
“This law would have represented a reasonable compromise between the
various affected industries,” he said. “It’s a shame we’re back to
square one now.”
The PCIAA’s main concern in supporting the law was public safety.
“We supported the provisions in the state house bills as they would
have helped to prevent all Illinois drivers from subsidizing the
riskier driving activities of a small number of drivers and the
companies that facilitate these programs,” the group said in a
In his letter to the Illinois General Assembly explaining his
decision to veto, Quinn stated a firm belief that Article VII of the
Illinois Constitution provides a “transformational approach to
reallocating the balance of power towards local government and away
from the State” and is “perhaps the most significant innovation” of
the state’s Constitution.
The governor’s office cited steps Chicago is already taking to
implement safety regulations amongst ridesharing companies and
users, and expressed a need to keep from interfering in the local
The governor’s stance and veto finds itself at odds with his own
Democrat Party and the Republicans alike, as the bill saw major
majority approval in both the House and Senate and was sponsored by
members from both sides of the political aisle.
Brady Cremeens is a reporter with the Watchdog affiliate, Illinois
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