Email insights: Uber calls on customers to demand a Senate vote

in Statewide/Top Headlines by

It’s the last call for ride-hailing legislation.

A bill (SB 1118) to set minimum insurance requirements for ride-hailing companies, like Uber, is once again on the Senate’s special order calendar. So is a similar House proposal (HB 509) that addresses insurance requirements and deals with preemption concerns.

With just days left in the legislative session, there isn’t much time left for lawmakers to take up the proposal. And on Thursday, Uber called on customers to tell the Senate to take a vote.

“We need you,” the company said in an email to customers. “For the first time ever, the State Senate is scheduled to debate and hold a vote on a comprehensive ridesharing bill today. We need your help to ensure every Floridian has secure access to Uber.”

The email goes on to say that “one man, Senate President Andy Gardiner” has stood in the way of legislation for years and “he could stop this debate at any minute.”

“Because Senator Gardiner has taken tens of thousands of dollars in campaign contributions from the taxi industry and their allies, we honestly don’t know what to expect,” the company said in an email. “But you can help make the Senate vote to secure access to Uber across Florida.”

Uber has been targeting Gardiner in recent days, releasing several advertisements aimed at the Orlando Republican.

The House proposal, sponsored by Rep. Matt Gaetz, overwhelmingly cleared the House earlier this session. But Gardiner has said there isn’t a companion bill in his chamber, since the Senate proposal, sponsored by Sen. David Simmons, doesn’t address preemption.