On Jan. 12, 2015, his last day as Illinois governor, Pat Quinn signed legislation to regulate Uber and Lyft across the state.
The particulars of the bill were boring—they laid out how ride-hailing services would insure drivers, conduct background checks, and deal with alcohol violations—but its passage was anything but. The new law permanently ended the bitter political fight Uber had waged in Illinois over the last year. Earlier drafts had considered limits on Uber’s pricing, its pickups, its driver hours; Uber lampooned them as harming “consumer choice, safety, economic development.” The final bill that Quinn signed contained no such restrictions. It at once protected Uber and legitimized it.