I WRITE to set the record straight on comments made by the Taxi Workers Alliance of Pennsylvania regarding Senate Bill 984, my bill authorizing Transportation Network Companies such as Uber and Lyft to operate statewide.
The Senate's recent bipartisan passage of my bill does not reward illicit behavior. To the contrary, SB 984 is intended to ensure TNCs are held to the same or a higher standard above that which is currently required of the traditional taxi cab industry under the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission.
Under my bill, TNCs must meet key requirements such as maintaining proper insurance coverage, meeting vehicle safety requirements and reporting accidents. Additionally, TNC drivers would be required to undergo significant background checks, and individuals convicted of certain crimes including burglary, robbery and sexual offenses would be prevented from offering TNC services.
In short, the purpose of my legislation is clear - to ensure the popular service provided by these companies and demanded by the public is performed in a safe, reliable, economical and consumer-oriented manner.
Uber and other TNCs have become services that citizens depend on, often supplementing existing public transit and in some cases filling a void. Today, both riders and drivers benefit from increased transportation access and flexible earning opportunities. It's clear that the future of transportation is upon us and I prefer to embrace it as opposed to fighting it.
State senator, 46th District
Regulate payday loans
What hurts the working class are the lack of regulations regarding payday loans and other such usurious lending contracts. A rise in interest rates by a quarter of 1 percent on bank loans will have little effect on such arrangements - that often charge 300 percent interest, and some even higher - which interest and fees force on those short of cash. While banks do not make such loan arrangements, some large banks have helped to bankroll the agencies that do. Hillary Clinton voted for many of the financial industry "reforms" that made such arrangements possible. Her recent election-year conversion toward more stringent regulation of banks and investment institutions do not impress me as sincere. I look forward to seeing specific and substantial reforms, which would reduce the harm working-class families have experienced for her earlier legislative decisions.
Elkins Park, Pa.
I must have read a different Ronnie Polaneczky column than the one Michael Kubacki refers to. He says Ronnie diminishes the deaths from terroristic acts compared with other deaths. I think she means that we don't take these other deaths seriously enough and don't spend all the time talking about them that we should. The fact is most of these deaths, with the right attention paid to them, are preventable. I can't stop a terrorist from bombing buildings but I can stop murderers from getting guns anywhere they please. I notice, by the way, Mr. Kubacki doesn't mention easy access to guns as a threat. We can limit the number of accidental deaths. We ourselves cannot stop terrorism, but we can work harder on stopping deaths caused by drunken drivers, violent attacks on children, unwarranted police shootings and all the other factors determining on who lives and who dies. You have to be a fool to say she doesn't care about deaths from terrorism, unless it fits your own political agenda to say so.
All colors matter
While watching "Modern Family," Gloria says something along the lines of "I want to have a white Christmas - like white people." Then watching "Black-ish," Pops says something along the lines of . . . "Whadda y'all doin' son, being a black man trying to have a white Christmas!" I saw previews the week before of "Taraji and Terrence's White Hot Holidays" - all decked out in white and gold decor. And almost daily in the
, someone has talked/written about "people of color." People of color? White is a color, yes? Anyone? I'm not understanding why people are so ignorant to the color of white. I don't care what your title or your degree is; or if you even have a title or degree. I don't care how big your house is or how much money you make. What's important is all of us - black, white, rich, poor - showing our understanding, compassion and selflessness to each other. That's what makes a person - because
all colors and all lives matter
! Yes, Gloria - I, white woman, would like to have a white Christmas, too and yes, Pops, I'd like to be a part of the 1 percent just once to share that wealth at Christmas and the year through. Not all white people have a white Christmas and not all white people fall in the 1 percent. 2016 is right around the corner America - stop the ignorance and blame game already! At the end of the day, we're all here on this earth together - make the best of it.