Despite a push by the taxi industry, California will not require Uber and Lyft to fingerprint their drivers.
The California Public Utilities Commission is set to adopt new rules on background checks for ride-hailing services during its meeting, 9:30 a.m. in San Francisco. The proposed regulations, which were released last month, mandate companies conduct annual screenings of their drivers with firms that are accredited by a national association.
But the biggest point of contention was whether those background checks would need to include a biometric component, such as fingerprinting. Taxi drivers, who are generally required to undergo fingerprint checks, lobbied heavily for their competition to be held to the same standard, while Uber and Lyft fiercely resisted, arguing that it would be onerous and discriminatory against minorities.
After a yearlong review, the commission ultimately sided with the ride-hailing services that the requirement was unnecessary.
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“Although we recognize the public’s familiarity with fingerprinting, we do not see that a demonstratively greater level of safety would be added over and above the current background-check protocols,” Commissioner Liane Randolph wrote.
In 2016, the Legislature passed a law prohibiting the companies from hiring drivers who are registered sex offenders or have been convicted of a violent felony or certain crimes, such as assault, domestic violence or driving under the influence, in the past seven years.
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WORTH REPEATING: “To my colleagues in Congress, I say do your job.” – Sen. Dianne Feinstein, introducing another bill to ban the sale of new assault weapons.
REFLECT: With a year to go before the 2018 election, you’ve still got plenty of time left to make your pick for California’s next governor. But if you’d like to get your research started, the Public Policy Institute of California has a conversation on the issues with candidate and Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom, 12:30 p.m. at the Bechtel Conference Center in San Francisco. The event will also be webcast.
RESIST: As the fight this year over the “sanctuary state” bill proved, California stands at odds with the Trump administration on immigration policy and enforcement. What’s next in the battle between the state that wants to lead the “resistance” and the federal government that wants to build a wall on the border of Mexico? Capitol Weekly hosts a daylong conference on immigration, starting at 9:15 a.m. at the State Building & Construction Trades Council office on I Street.
REBUILD: Battered by a history of municipal corruption and weak community engagement, Southeast Los Angeles County has been working in recent years to rebuild its civic culture, led by a new generation of local leaders, including Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon. One idea has been expanding public-private partnerships that can bring additional resources to the region, which will be the topic of discussion at the annual Summit of Possibilities, hosted by the California Community Foundation and the Pat Brown Institute for Public Affairs. Rendon is set to address the conference, which focuses this year on transportation, 9:30 a.m. at the DoubleTree in Commerce.