Legislation that would allow the agriculture commissioner to regulate Uber, Lyft and similar taxi services advanced to the House floor without objection Wednesday.
The House & Governmental Affairs Committee approved House Bill 527 , which allow the state, solely, to regulate the transportation network companies that use occasional drivers to take riders where they want to go. Under the measure, the state would collect 1 percent of the services’ gross receipts, most of which would then be returned to local governments where the rides took place.
House Transportation Committee Chairman Kenny Havard, who sponsored HB527, said the new industry that relies on smart phones to connect drivers and riders needs uniform, statewide regulations rather than the "patchwork" of rules in effect now through ordinances in New Orleans, Baton Rouge and other places.
Nick Juliano, who handles policy for Uber in the Southeast, said 42 states have rules like those in the bill, and implementing them in Louisiana would help spread the ride-hailing services throughout the state.
Uber drivers are telling him that they could make more money if different rules didn’t apply in different jurisdictions, Juliano said.
Under HB527, the Louisiana Department of Agriculture and Forestry would have oversight powers and prohibit local government, […]