Dear Sen. Bradford,
The R Street Institute is proud to support S.B. 182. R Street is a Washington, D.C.-based think tank with offices in Sacramento. We focus on many areas of public policy, including removing restrictions from the innovation economy. Individuals should not be discouraged from working because regulatory and licensing restrictions make doing so too expensive.
While some regulation is needed to protect public safety, it should never be used simply as a means to extract money from taxpayers or to pick winners and losers. Governments must adapt to new industries that promote freedom and flexibility for taxpayers, even if they unsettle long-established economic marketplaces. These new industries are good for the economy and provide job opportunities.
This is particularly true with regard to transportation network companies such as Uber and Lyft. Current law forces TNC drivers to become licensed in every city in which they operate, leading to annual costs that can total hundreds or even thousands of dollars. It’s quite cumbersome for those trying to earn a living, particularly the many who do so on a part-time basis. Moreover, these restrictions exist to protect the taxicab industry rather than to protect public safety.
S.B. 182 would allow TNC drivers to obtain one statewide license to operate, with local governments retaining their licensing revenues. R Street is pleased to support this thoughtful solution to deal with ongoing issues in the innovation economy.