As legislative fight looms, AirBnB hires Sacramento lobbyist

Last year, rideshare companies Uber and Lyft were forced to hire consultants and lobbyists to temper legislation aimed at their businesses.


This year, with house sharing becoming a major issue in San Francisco and other places with tight housing markets, AirBnB has been forced to seek some legislative help.


The Sacramento Bee reports that the company “has signed on with KP Public Affairs, lobbyist Greg Hayes confirmed, in the most concrete sign yet that Sacramento will become the latest venue to host a debate over how much services like Airbnb should be regulated.


“San Francisco has enacted a law sanctioning short-term rentals like those offered on Airbnb, while San Jose has voted to tax Airbnb rentals and Auburn has weighed an ordinance.”


Assemblyman David Chiu, a newly elected Democrat from San Francisco, sponsored San Francisco’s Airbnb law while serving on the city’s Board of Supervisors. The law was criticized by many, including U.S. Sen Dianne Feinstein, for being a give-away to the company and not doing enough to save hotels and landlords.


A wide range of interest groups would have a stake in bills affecting Airbnb, among them the hotel industry, insurance companies, associations representing realtors or landlords and labor unions representing hotel workers.


Time to ring up those cash registers as the share economy shares some of that new wealth with the old-guard lobbyists in Sacramento.