* Greg Hinz…
If you liked Airbnb versus the hotel industry or Uber-Lyft against taxi operators, a similar fight over what rules to apply to car-sharing companies is brewing in Springfield. And it could turn into a beaut, with the future of the transportation business and millions of dollars a year in tax income at stake.
Pending before the House Executive Committee is a bill backed by Enterprise and other traditional car-rental firms that would require emerging car-sharing competitors to follow the same licensing and regulatory rules that they do. The new competitors, such as San Francisco-based Turo, do not own and rent their own vehicles but instead use an app-based system in which travelers lease cars directly from individual car owners, with Turo playing intermediary.
Turo spokesmen argue that the bill, which is scheduled for a committee hearing tomorrow, would “effectively slow or stop Turo’s ability to offer a marketplace to 200,000 Illinois citizens and similar peer-to-peer car sharing companies.”
The company also argues that the 6,600 renters it has in the state, or “hosts” in company jargon, already are at a competitive disadvantage, because unlike Turo, they are exempt from paying the state’s 7.25 percent sales tax on car purchases.
But advocates of the bill say it’s the traditional firms that are losing out because lower-priced upstarts aren’t held to the same disclosure, insurance or consumer protection standards.
* Other bills…
* It’s ‘gut-check time’ for lawmakers on legislation to curb sexual harassment: The sexual harassment omnibus legislation Bush introduced expands the definition of harassment and extends discrimination protections to independent contractors. It would give workers two years, rather than six months, to file charges and sue. It would require reporting of settlements from large public contractors and employers, and prohibit non-disclosure agreements unless the victim wants one. Among other things, it also requires a panic-button system for hotel workers and mandates that anyone who works in youth sports be required to report abuse suspicions to the Department of Children and Family Services.
* New version of Trump tax-cap workaround goes to lawmakers: Under the new version, instead of paying taxes and losing some deductions as per the law enacted by the GOP Congress and President Donald Trump, taxpayers would be allowed to donate to “charitable funds” set up to benefit state and local school districts and municipalities. Donors would get a tax credit worth 90 percent of the donation that would be used to offset their state income or local property tax liability, and because federal law does not limit charitable deductions, the donation would be fully deductible, not capped at $10,000. In an interview, Morrison said she added the 90 percent credit—down from 100 percent in the House bill—with an eye toward the IRS, which some tax experts believe will block a dollar-for-dollar credit as a sale of sorts and not a charitable donation. “We want maximum integrity,” Morrison said.
* Editorial: Sexual assault nurses needed STAT: The bill passed the House 101-0 in April. It would require the 160 Illinois hospitals that treat sexual assault victims to make a SANE available within 90 minutes after a patient arrives in an emergency room. That’s a significant compromise from the not at all unreasonable standard of having a SANE on hand 24/7.
* Wednesday hearing to focus on other Rauner public safety proposals: The Illinois House is set to hear testimony about a slew of measures Gov. Bruce Rauner has raised to enhance public safety, and among them is freeing up money for armed school resource officers. The House heard the governor’s plan Monday to bring back the death penalty for cop killers and mass murderers, but other issues the governor injected in a bill he changed with his amendatory veto are slated for a Wednesday hearing.
* Illinois Lawmakers Consider National Rap Back System: When a new employee is fingerprinted for a job in Illinois, the employer receives a snapshot of their criminal record, and they receive notifications for any future run-ins with the law in the state. But lawmakers are considering a proposal that would also allow employers to be notified of convictions that happen across state lines.
* State Lawmakers Consider “Voices Act” to Help Immigrant Crime Victims: The measure, SB34, doesn’t change any immigration rules, but instead requires Illinois police to more quickly certify that someone is a crime victim. That gives them a special visa so they can stay as long as they cooperate with an investigation.