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Criminal justice reform remains a top priority for Jeff Brandes

in The Bay and the 'Burg by

Sen. Jeff Brandes said he plans to continue his push for criminal justice reform, advancing a multi-year process to take a closer look at the state’s criminal justice system. Brandes, who has made criminal justice reform a top priority, was in Washington, D.C. last week for the Right on Crime annual summit. The conservative-leaning organization has been working on criminal justice issues in Texas, Louisiana, and Florida. Brandes said the key takeaway from the summit was that “many states are…

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Governor signs landmark ride-sharing legislation into law

in 2017 by

Gov. Rick Scott signed into law Tuesday a bill that creates statewide regulations for ride-booking companies, like Uber and Lyft. “I’m proud to sign this legislation today to make it easier for ridesharing companies to thrive in Florida and help ensure the safety of our families,” said Scott in a statement. “Florida is one of the most business-friendly states in the nation because of our efforts to reduce burdensome regulations and encourage innovation and job creation across all industries, including…

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It’s the end of the road for the Hillsborough Public Transportation Commission

in The Bay and the 'Burg/Top Headlines by

Legislation that would effectively kill the controversial Hillsborough Public Transportation Commission (HB 647) passed in the Florida House on Thursday. The bill, sponsored by Tampa Bay Republican Jamie Grant, was first introduced as a local bill at the Hillsborough County Legislative Delegation meeting last December. Although the PTC has reaped a slew of negative news stories over the past three years in its attempts to regulate ridesharing companies Uber and Lyft in Hillsborough County, widespread antipathy to the organization goes back years, if…

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Tom Lee quietly files unfriendly amendment affecting Uber, Lyft

in Statewide/Top Headlines by

State Sen. Tom Lee on Wednesday filed an amendment for the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles bill that would regulate the operations of ridebooking services like Uber and Lyft. The language would prohibit local governments and governmental bodies, including airport authorities, from cutting deal with “transportation network companies” (TNCs) to operate exclusively in their jurisdictions. The amendment for the bill (HB 545) also prohibits agreements “that provides disparate treatment” to any TNC. The prohibitions wouldn’t “apply to contracts existing…

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Rick Scott says he will sign ‘Uber bill’

in Statewide/Top Headlines by

Gov. Rick Scott tweeted on Monday that he will sign into law a bill creating statewide regulations for ride-booking companies like Uber and Lyft. “I look forward to signing the @Uber/ @lyft bill,” Scott tweeted from his official account, @FLGovScott. Colin Tooze, Uber’s director of public affairs, tweeted back, “Many thanks for your leadership, @FLGovScott ! All of us at @Uber are excited to have a permanent home in the Sunshine State.” Lawmakers had considered legislation for four years before passing a bill…

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Bill to regulate Uber, Lyft headed to Senate floor

in Statewide by

A bill that would create a regulatory framework for transportation network companies in Florida cleared the Senate Rules Committee, teeing it up for a vote in the full Senate within the coming days. Sponsored by Sen. Jeff Brandes, the bill (SB 340) would require Uber and Lyft to carry $100,000 of insurance for bodily injury or death and $25,000 for property damage while a driver is logged onto their app but hasn’t secured a passenger. While a rider is in…

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House gets one step closer to passing statewide regs on Uber, Lyft

in Statewide by

Legislation to regulate transportation network companies (TNC) in Florida advanced Tuesday on its second reading through the Florida House. The bill sponsored by Palm Harbor Republican Chris Sprowls and Tampa Republican Jamie Grant (HB 221) requires ride-sharing companies to have third-parties conduct local and national criminal background checks on drivers. “That includes a multistage, multi-jurisdictional background check, a search of the National Sex Offender website, and a review of the public driving history of the applicant,” Sprowls said on the House floor. Although…

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