JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — Missouri lawmakers on Thursday passed statewide regulations for ride-hailing companies such as Uber and Lyft, opening the door for the companies to expand throughout the state.
House members voted 144-7 to send the bill to Republican Gov. Eric Grietens, who has called the measure a job creator and appears likely to sign it into law.
"It’s going to create all kind of opportunities for people to create their own small business and provide riding opportunities that are going to reduce drunk driving (and help) visually impaired individuals," said bill sponsor Rep. Kirk Mathews, a Pacific Republican.
Uber currently operates in St. Louis, Kansas City, Columbia and Springfield, where Lyft also operates. Both businesses have said statewide operating rules will enable the companies to expand the app-based services statewide.
Lyft spokesman Scott Coriell said in a statement that the company is "incredibly excited" about the bill’s passage.
"We are currently working on expansion plans, pending signage of the bill," he said.The legislation would require that companies pay a licensing fee and adhere to a nondiscrimination policy. It would exempt them from local and municipal taxes and require drivers to submit to background checks and purchase vehicle liability insurance.Republican House Speaker […]