By Matt Besler
It happens like clockwork: every 2-4 years as the lazy days of summer rush into a new school year and the leaves begin to change color, politicians start to make unforeseen and unpredictable policy decisions. It’s election season and sometimes – sometimes – this works out for the businesses and taxpayers who are usually under attack by Illinois’ ruling class. Recently, a bill pushed by the taxi lobby and Illinois’ political establishment was vetoed by the governor. The politician’s message was clear: he’s his own man – don’t try to label him anti-business and lump him in with those OTHER Springfield Democrats.
The veto is good news for business, taxpayers and the next generation of entrepreneurs, as the legislation would have restricted ridesharing services such as UberX and Lyft in Chicago. In cities across the country, Uber has injected local economies with opportunity and presented the taxicab industry with something it seldom faces: competition.
Naturally, that free-market competition has meant happier customers. Illinois’ political class, of course, cannot abide competition… or happy customers. So, they drew up a bill to regulate this innovative new service out of existence, claiming that their effort was in the name of consumer safety.
In reality, Uber drivers have to submit to a three-step criminal background screening that goes back as far as the law allows. The company also conducts ongoing reviews of drivers’ motor vehicle records.
The only thing the legislators who voted for this bill – many of whom rely on the taxicab industry’s support – were keeping safe was an industry monopoly and, by extension, their own political interests.
In the coming weeks, voters will receive countless campaign mailers claiming that their candidate is for “Encouraging Business” and pro-“Creating Jobs and Boosting Our Economy” The Uber Bill (HB 4075), however, provides clear guidance as to which legislators are truly pro-business and economic opportunity. Legislators who voted for this bill voted for government largess. Legislators who voted for this bill voted against the wishes of the general public, and against competition, business and free market principles. So, who voted against business growth? Click here to find out.
All voters, regardless of party, want to see economic prosperity and jobs returned to Illinois. Therefore, all voters should understand exactly how their Representative voted on the Ridesharing Bill before they cast a ballot on November 4.