Dec 27, 2019

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo vetoes scooter and e-bike bill

Bird scooters at a maintenance facility in France. Photo: Gerard Julien/AFP via Getty Images

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo vetoed Thursday a bill that would have legalized electric scooters and throttle-controlled electric bikes across the state, citing safety concerns, including the lack of a helmet requirement.

Why it matters: New York has been a holdout amid the scooter craze over the last two years — despite it being a prime market for the vehicles. The bill overwhelmingly passed the state legislature last summer.

  • The bill would have legalized the vehicles across the state, requiring even New York City to give up its blanket ban, but would allow municipalities to regulate specifics, including permits for rental companies like Bird, Lime, Uber and Lyft.
  • While pedal-assisted e-bikes, whose motors only kick in while the rider is pedaling, have been legal in NYC, throttle-controlled ones have not, forcing many delivery workers who prefer them to do their jobs, to pay fines and risk having them confiscated.
  • The bill would also ban e-scooter rentals from Manhattan, but would allow people to ride scooters they own.

Go deeper: The side effects of the transportation revolution

Go deeper

Trump hits back at Mattis: "I gave him a new life"

President Trump speaks at the White House. Photo: Doug Mills - Pool/Getty Images

President Trump unloaded on his former defense secretary via Twitter on Wednesday, hours after James Mattis condemned him for making a "mockery of our Constitution" in his response to mass protests in the wake of George Floyd's killing.

What he's saying: "Probably the only thing Barack Obama & I have in common is that we both had the honor of firing Jim Mattis, the world’s most overrated General. I asked for his letter of resignation, & felt great about it. His nickname was 'Chaos', which I didn’t like, & changed it to 'Mad Dog'"

Obama praises young protesters, urges mayors to pursue police reforms

Former President Barack Obama called on all mayors to review their use-of-force policies and commit to policing reform in a virtual town hall Wednesday hosted by the Obama Foundation's My Brothers Keepers Alliance.

Why it matters: Obama has addressed the killing of George Floyd and the nationwide protests that followed on social media and in a Medium post, but this was his first time speaking about the past week's events on camera. His voice will add weight to the growing pressure on local, state and federal officials to pursue policing reforms.

James Mattis condemns Trump as a threat to the Constitution

Mattis on Fox in Septemnber 2019 in New York City. Photo: Steven Ferdman/Getty Images

Former Secretary of Defense James Mattis condemned President Trump for making a "mockery of our Constitution" in a statement to The Atlantic on Wednesday, saying he was "appalled" at the president's response to mass protests in the wake of George Floyd's killing.

Why it matters: Trump’s former defense secretary had refrained from publicly criticizing his former boss since resigning in 2018.