Minnesota Governor Tim Walz vetoed a bill Thursday mandating rideshare companies provide their drivers a minimum wage and other benefits. The Governor’s Office did not offer specific reasons for the veto. Despite the veto, Walz stated he is committed to “fair wages and safe working conditions” for rideshare workers.
In place of the bill, Walz issued Executive Order 23-07 establishing the Governor’s Committee on the Compensation, Wellbeing, and Fair Treatment of Transportation Network Company Drivers. The order advances two primary directives. First, to ensure the state “advance laws that promote fairness and transparency.” Secondly, to base any policies on various “Minnesota-specific data.”
The committee that will conduct and review findings will be made up of representatives from state and local government, labor unions, rideshare workers and members of the general public. The final report to the Governor’s office is due by January 1, 2024.
Democratic and Republican Senate members have expressed differing reactions to the veto. Democratic Senator Omar Fateh, who co-authored the bill, tweeted that Walz’s veto showed “the power corporations hold on our government.” However, Republican Senator and Assistant Minority Leader, Zach Duckworth, applauded the veto and creation of the committee. He stated that the legislation was “riddled with problems, we should take the time to get it right.”
The rideshare bill previously passed the Minnesota Senate by a narrow vote of 35-32.