Uber gets alles the votes but one | Arkansas Blog

Friday, March 27, 2015

Uber gets alles the votes but one

Posted By on Fri, Mar 27, 2015 at 5:45 PM

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Republican Sen. Jason Rapert's bill to regulate transportation network companies that use ride-sharing apps — like Uber and Lyft — passed the House 72 to 1 today (Republican Rep. Sue Scott of Rogers cast the lone no vote).

Little Rock had objections to certain aspects of the bill — that it puts the businesses under the state Public Service Commission, rather than local, control (yet another bill that proves Republicans like local control except when they don't) and conflicts with Little Rock's ride-sharing ordinance requirements for age of driver, condition of car and insurance and provides a records exemption to the Freedom of Information Act.

However, another bill by Rapert, SB780, appears to address the insurance disparity. It amends SB800 — if it is enacted — to require the TNC or the driver to carry substantially higher liability insurance coverage than the language in SB800: $50,000 for death and bodily injury per person, $100,000 per incident and $25,000 for property damage while the driver is logged in but does not have a passenger in the car. (SB800 only requires the minimum under state law — $25,000 — when the driver is engaged but alone in the vehicle.) Under both bills, liability coverage is $1 million when there is a passenger in the car. 

That sounds like an improvement — but insurance mavens out there may want to correct me.

Mayor Mark Stodola said the bill was another "interesting example of emasculating local control, and it's a fascinating process with the composition of a legislature with the conservative philosophy of less regulation." 

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