TNC battle ends with Gov. Brown’s signature
Sponsored by Assemblywoman Susan Bonilla, D-Concord, A.B. 2293, was one of the session’s highest-profile pieces of legislation. In its final incarnation, the bill does three things:
- It places in statute the definition of TNC promulgated by the industry’s primary regulator, the California Public Utilities Commission;
- It introduces a requirement that TNCs notify their drivers about the scope of their insurance coverage; and,
- It codifies the distinction between the points at which personal and commercial insurance coverages are in-force during the course of a ride.
The controversy surrounding AB 2293 morphed from a closely kept inter-industry contest into a public confrontation over the way in which the state and well-established interests interact with new and powerful market participants. Both sides energetically lobbied legislative offices and, as a result, many amendments later, a compromise was reached.
As is often the case in Sacramento, industries that could otherwise be natural allies in the effort to reduce overall regulatory burdens were pitted against one another as a result of a maladapted regulatory framework.
Unfortunately, this will not prove the last time that such a conflict transpires. Other industries should look to the A.B. 2293 episode as a roadmap for future action — for instance, in the coming debate on regulation of space-sharing services like Airbnb. That way, aware of the pitfalls of late engagement and sometimes tone-deaf tactics, the parties will be able to forgo open confrontation.
The first step to avoiding controversy is to simply talk.