The third time’s a charm for Ride Sharing Services in Florida

SB 340/HB 221 were bills filed this past session that would prevent local governments from regulating "transportation network companies" such as Uber and Lyft and would adopt a uniform, common sense law focused on safety and access to the new technology.

It makes no sense that 67 counties and 410 municipalities would create their own set of regulations, which would make it impossible for ride-share drivers to comply as they serve neighboring cities and counties.

This legislation establishes common-sense guidelines throughout the state, and allows people in Florida to continue benefiting from ride-share companies like Uber and Lyft and allow affordable, reliable rides.

This would be the third year that the legislature would take up legislation concerning transportation network companies. The House would pass legislation in 2015 and 2016, while as usual the Florida Senate would continue to kill good legislation. The main culprit killing ride-share legislation was then Senate President Andy Gardiner, who served as Senate President for 2015-16. Senator Gardiner represented an Orlando district and was very tied to the Orlando-based Mears Transportation, a large taxi service company, who fought against any legislation that would reduce regulations on ride-share companies like Uber. Mears Transportation is a large donor and used their clout with the Senate President to make sure the legislation would die.

The 2017 session brought new Senate leadership with Senate President Joe Negron, who has supported the growth of rides-hare companies. Also, SB 340 was sponsored by Senator Jeff Brandes, a strong advocate for ride-share companies. Senator Brandes is known for being principled fighter for liberty issues and worked hard to make sure this bill passed this session. The House companion bill HB 221 easily passed through two committee stops and passed the House by 115-0 unanimous vote. SB 340 passed easily through four committee stops and the Senate took up HB 221 and passed it 36-1. HB 221 was sent to the Governor Scott and he recently signed the legislation into law.

The difference in this legislation passing this year after failing for the previous two years; Senator Andy Gardiner was termed out and could not kill the bill this year, thank God for term limits. Also, a lot of credit to Senator Jeff Brandes for not giving up and fighting for this legislation.

 

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  • commented 2017-06-16 07:15:12 -0400
    I think his history and experience will make him a decent representative. As I would like to think his style of overseeing and legislative issues will bear numerous likenesses to Arnold’s out in California.. He is considered politically direct, and adaptable rather that inflexible with regards to his positions.
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