They are known as ride-sharing or ride-hailing companies and in some circles as transportation network companies or TNCs. Uber, Lyft and other similar companies provide an update on the traditional taxi service, complete with a smartphone interface that has made them popular among the tech-savvy, millennial generation. State governments have found themselves playing catch-up in recent years, trying to authorize and regulate an upstart industry their laws never envisioned. But as policymakers navigate the particulars of basic operational questions like how to protect riders from unsafe or unsavory drivers, these services present a myriad of other policy questions for both the short and long terms.

CSG Midwest

As the U.S. Congress considers legislation to better protect consumers from the threats posed by data breaches and identity theft, the nation’s state attorneys general have delivered a unified message: Don’t pre-empt state laws. Forty-four attorneys general (including 10 from the Midwest) signed the July letter to lawmakers. “Additional protections afforded consumers by a federal law must not diminish the important role states already play,” they wrote.

Hardly a day goes by without news of a cyberattack on an American business or government agency. The threats all Americans face in the cyber world today have become far more aggressive, the attacks more frequent and the techniques employed far more sophisticated than just five years ago. This advancing threat underscores the need to respond with the tools and authorities necessary to protect the nation’s security and financial resources. President Obama in February signed an executive order, advisory in nature, which urges companies to share cybersecurity threat information with one another and the federal government. The executive order is part of a broader White House effort to strengthen the nation’s cybersecurity infrastructure, which the administration has been pushing on Capitol Hill.

This act allows active duty service members to cancel and reinstate services like cable, internet, and health club memberships. In order to cancel or reinstate services, a member of the armed services must provide orders proving they have been called into active duty. Qualifying active duty members may be able to reinstate services under the same terms and conditions before cancellation due to active duty call-up.

The growing use of social media in the U.S. has had implications in both the employment and educational contexts. In recent years, some employers and educational institutions have asked current and/or prospective employees or students to grant the employer or school access to social media accounts. From 2012-2014 (as of September 2014), nineteen states enacted varying legislation addressing access of this type (Arkansas, California, Colorado, Delaware, Illinois, Louisiana, Maryland, Michigan, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Oregon, Rhode Island, Tennessee, Utah, Washington, and Wisconsin), and numerous additional bills on the topic were introduced.

This act makes it a crime and Class D felony to manufacture, import, install, or reinstall a nonfunctional or counterfeit airbag. It also makes it a crime, punishable by the increased penalty, to knowingly sell, offer for sale, manufacture, import, install, or reinstall a counterfeit or nonfunctional air bag, as defined in the act. Further, selling or offering for sale a replacement device that the seller knows or reasonably should know does not meet federal airbag safety standards will be considered an unfair or deceptive trade practice under state law.

This joint resolution makes permanent the Oklahoma Construction Industries Board’s rule that all home inspectors must make a written notation if they see yellow corrugated stainless steel tubing (CSST) during the course of their inspection. The home inspector is required to notify the homeowner in writing that only a licensed electrical contractor can determine if the yellow CSST is properly bonded and grounded per the current National Fuel Gas Code and as required by the manufacturer’s installation instructions. Bonding is provided primarily to prevent a possible electric shock to people who come in contact with the gas piping and other metal objects connected to the grounding system.

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s Global Intellectual Property Center, a CSG Associate, has issued holiday shopping tips for consumers. Through its Dangerous Fakes campaign, the center is issuing consumer alert tips to empower holiday shoppers to make smart decisions and avoid counterfeits. The center suggests 10 tips to avoid dangerous fakes.

The state of Pennsylvania is currently debating over whether the state should get out of the alcohol selling industry and privatize the sale of alcohol. While there are 17 states in the union that have some kind of state alcohol regulatory agency, only Utah and Pennsylvania exert total control over the sales. 

Two years ago, Congress passed, and the president signed the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act into law. A response to the financial meltdown in 2008, Dodd-Frank initiated one of the most significant restructurings of financial regulations since the Great Depression, and a great deal of the reforms hinged on states’ relationships and regulatory authority over financial institutions. Now, with the law in effect and the federal rule-making process well under way, some states are using their new authorities in unpredicted—and unprecedented—ways.