House okays 'Uber bill' blocking local rideshare bans
For the second year in a row, the Florida House wants to stop local governments from blocking or regulating companies like Uber and Lyft.
Lawmakers passed a bill (HB 509) by a 108-10 vote Wednesday that does just that. It also sets minimum insurance requirements for drivers who find and give rides to passengers using ridesharing apps on their smartphones.
The bill, by Rep. Matt Gaetz passed without any debate from supporters or opponents.
But obstacles remain, as Senate leaders resist attempts to block local bans and rules on ridesharing companies. Instead, Sen. David Simmons is pushing a proposal (SB 1118) that sets insurance requirements but allows local governments to continue regulating Uber and Lyft as transportation companies.
State and local officials have the power to regulate taxicab companies, including approving rates and issuing permits. And many, including in Hillsborough and Broward counties, have tried to do the same for ridesharing companies.
If Gaetz’s proposal becomes law, they won’t be able to do that anymore.