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Who gives a hoot about who gets to scoot? Florida lawmakers do.

The House State Affairs Committee on Wednesday approved a bill (HB 453), sponsored by Rep. Jackie Toledo, R-Tampa, that would set up a statewide regulatory framework for the industry.
(AP Photo/Brinley Hineman, File)
(AP Photo/Brinley Hineman, File)
Published Apr. 10, 2019
Updated Apr. 10, 2019

With the industry described by one lobbyist as being in its “infancy,” the full House could take up controversial bill that would limit the ability of cities and counties to regulate scooter sharing services.

The House State Affairs Committee on Wednesday approved a bill (HB 453), sponsored by Rep. Jackie Toledo, R-Tampa, that would set up a statewide regulatory framework for the industry, which involves riders using apps to hop on motorized scooters that can be left in various areas.

PREVIOUS COVERAGE: Will scooters help or hurt the way we get around in Tampa Bay? We’re about to find out.

Toledo said the bill, in part, would require cities and counties to treat scooter riders like bicyclists. She said the bill would help prevent cities and counties from using regulations to pick “winners and losers” in the industry.

But critics such as Jeff Branch, a lobbyist for the Florida League of Cities, said local governments should be able to determine how to regulate the services. “They (requirements) have to be crafted locally, local decisions,” Branch said.

The bill has been approved by three committee, readying it to go to the full House. A Senate version (SB 542), sponsored by Sen. Jeff Brandes, R-St. Petersburg, has cleared two committees and is awaiting a hearing in the Appropriations Committee.

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