Bringing you The Way a day early - enjoy your July 4th holiday!
WAIT FOR IT
By 2020, companies (tech and others) that collect personal information will be required, if a consumer asks them, to reveal exactly what data they have, and what they use it for. A consumer can demand that companies not sell this data to third parties and even that they delete all of his or her personal information. Oh, and a consumer can also sue if unencrypted data is stolen by hackers.
Lawmakers passed the bill to preempt a November ballot initiative that would have codified more stringent rules. Tech companies and legislators preferred the bill to an initiative because a bill provides more options for refining the requirements down the line. Once voters approve a ballot initiative, the text is permanent, which means that there is no way to improve or amend the text based on comments from various stakeholders. (Except another ballot initiative.)
GOVERNING IS HARDER
With a deadline imminent, lawmakers moved quickly to pass the Consumer Privacy Act. We'll hear a lot more about the specifics of the bill over the next 18 months since it contains some vague, confusing, and contradictory language. For instance, there's a loophole that allows tech companies to share people's data even if a consumer bars them from selling it. As they continue to work out the details, let's not forget the "California effect" - where a California law becomes the baseline for other states. We'll keep reporting as stakeholders weigh in over the next 18 months.
Younger Truckers on the Horizon
A Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration spokesman announced it will implement a pilot program later this year to allow 18- to 20-year old drivers to drive cross-country for private trucking companies. Specifically, the pilot program would be available to some members of the National Guard and others with military experience. The federal governmental currently requires commercial truck drivers to be at least 21 years old to drive a large truck across state lines. Eighteen year olds can get a commercial driver's license in most states, but are limited to driving within state lines.
The House introduced the DRIVE-Safe Act in March that would lower the commercial truck driving age to 18 for anyone driving interstate who passes the required tests. Under the legislation, a driver would have to complete a two-step program that includes at least 400 hours of on-duty time and 240 hours of driving time with an experienced driver in the cab with them. The truck driver shortage is expected to hit 63,000 this year, according to the American Trucking Associations. The shortage is causing delayed deliveries and higher prices at the store as companies pass on the costs to consumers. Trucks moved more than 70% of all U.S. freight and generated $719 billion in revenue in 2017 - this will be an ongoing issue we're tracking.
Making Our Way Around the Country
A federal judge dismissed a closely watched lawsuit focused on the poor reading skills of students in several Detroit schools citing there is no fundamental right to literacy. The lawsuit sought to hold a dozen state officials accountable for what plaintiffs said were systematic failures. While the court ruling noted the importance of literacy, it also cited a prior Supreme Court case that found education was not a fundamental right under the U.S. Constitution. Last week, Gov. Rick Snyder signed a nearly $17 billion K-12 spending plan. The Detroit and Lansing public schools are among 10 "partnership districts," which are legally obligated to ensure all of their students are reading at grade level. The plan outlines accountability measures if schools don't meet their improvements, including replacing at least 25% of staff, being reconstituted, or even shut down.
California Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones announced he issued an order that requires every insurer licensed to write workers' compensation in the state must report its federal income tax savings annually through a rate filing in light of the new tax law. The rate filing is due by December 31, 2018, and on a yearly basis through December 31, 2020. Insurers will need to provide details about how those savings impact their rates. The insurer must also provide a detailed explanation if they have determined that there is no rate impact, stating why the reduction in the federal corporate tax rate does not affect their rates.
As you're celebrating the festivities of the birth of our Nation, be careful as this is considered one of the most dangerous weekends. Whether you're on the roadways, waterways or just enjoying fireworks, take a little extra time to be safe. Hope you enjoyed our early edition of The Way. Have a great holiday - we'll be back on our usual Wednesday day next week.