PRESS RELEASE: CALA Calls on IL Senate to Reject Bill to Increase Cost of Uber and Other Rideshare Services
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 1, 2023
Citizens Against Lawsuit Abuse Calls on Illinois Senate to Reject Bill to Increase Cost of Uber and Other Rideshare Services
Glenview, IL – Illinois Citizens Against Lawsuit Abuse (CALA-IL) released a report that highlights the hundreds of thousands of dollars in contributions that the Illinois Trial Lawyers Association (ILTA) has made to the sponsors of the Transportation Network Providers Act.
CALA-IL Executive Director Phil Melin commented, “Consumers lose when our politicians put lobbyists and their big money political contributions before the greater good. The big push by the ITLA for this bill surely means they expect it to sprout a torrent of new lawsuits by a cottage industry of entrepreneurial trial lawyers, the costs of which will ultimately be by families looking for a safe night out or a convenient ride to the airport.”
CALA-IL is calling on the Illinois Senate to put consumers first and reject the Transportation Network Providers Act that is likely to come up for vote this week. The bill would classify companies like Uber and Lyft as transportation network companies/providers (TNCs), which would open them up to unfair and frivolous lawsuits. As a result of this classification, TNC status would force increased rates on Illinois commuters for the benefit of predatory trial lawyers looking for a quick buck and would make the roads more dangerous.
“It’s clear that this legislation does more harm than good, and our Senators should consider the safety of our roads and the financial well-being of Illinois’ families rather than their campaign coffers,” said Melin.
CALA-IL Executive Director stated, “In this era of hyper-inflation, Springfield politicians should be doing everything they can to lower costs for middle- and low-income families. Senators have a fantastic opportunity this week to prevent major cost increases added to rideshare services like Uber and Lyft, by voting down the Transportation Network Providers Act. Pushing legislation that will increase costs for the hundreds of thousands of Illinoisans who use ride share services is ill-advised and callous.”
Making the Roads More Dangerous
Rideshare is more than just a convenience. Lyft estimates that its entry into the Chicago market resulted in a 40% reduction in DUI arrests. Melin continued, “Senators should consider the unintended consequences of this bill to public safety. There will be more dangerous inebriated drivers on the roads if the Senate passes the Transportation Network Providers Act because the associated higher ride share costs will result in more people making the bad decision to drive home rather than hailing a ride.”
Pay to Play Trial Lawyers Are Greedy for New Business
The Illinois Trial Lawyers Association (ITLA) (See witness slip, media appearance) has been leading the charge for Transportation Network Providers Act passage. According to a CALA report, based off public records, since Jan 1, 2020, ITLA has made 201 separate political contributions totaling $440,823 to General Assembly and Senate sponsors of the Act. The lead sponsor in the General Assembly Jennifer Gong-Gershowitz (D-Glenview) has taken 7 contributions from ITLA totaling $10,323 and the lead in the Senate Robert Martwick (D-Chicago) has taken 6 contributions totaling $13,000.
“Consumers are the big losers when pay-to-play Springfield lobbyist organizations succeed in putting their industry objectives before the best interest of the people,” Melin said.
CALA-Illinois is the grassroots arm of Citizens Against Lawsuit Abuse. Citizens Against Lawsuit Abuse (CALA) is a nonpartisan, grassroots movement working to end rampant lawsuit abuse across the United States. CALA advocates for commonsense legal reform measures by educating the public about the devastating, real-world costs of lawsuit abuse on working families and small businesses. Learn more at https://cala.com/illinois/
Phil Melin is available to provide background or publicly discuss the Transportation Network Providers Act.