Uber and Lyft have had many big successes at the Capitol, but they haven’t won all their battles.
Three weeks ago, a bill to make it easier to do fingerprint-based background checks of ride-hailing drivers squeaked through an Assembly committee. The bill’s author, Adrin Nazarian (D-Sherman Oaks), has proposed new regulations on the companies many times over the years. Nazarian’s bill sailed unanimously through its first Assembly committee without a peep from the companies and was on its way to the Appropriations Committee. But before it arrived, the bill got routed to the Assembly Utilities and Commerce Committee led by Assemblyman Mike Gatto (D-Glendale), a big supporter of the ride-hailing industry.
Once that happened, Uber, Lyft and tech umbrella groups TechNet and Internet Assn. all came out in opposition. The move happened so quickly, Nazarian said, that the labor groups and limo drivers who back his bill didn’t have enough time to put their support on the record prior to the hearing. Ultimately Nazarian was able to scrounge up enough votes to move his bill along over Gatto’s opposition.