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sharing economy

Airbnb opens Florida political committee with $1 million

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Airbnb, the online marketplace that allows people to find and rent vacation homes, has formed a political committee in Florida, state campaign finance records show. “People versus the Powerful” was formed April 6 for the purpose of  “supporting or opposing statewide, legislative, multi-county and local candidates,” according to its statement of organization. Its chairman is Tomas Martinelli of Miami, Airbnb’s Florida director of public policy and a former Florida Department of Transportation official. For the committee’s first month of existence, the San Francisco-based company…

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Today on Context Florida: Antonin Scalia, American Forests, the sharing economy and Presidents’ Day

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Today on Context Florida: Jim Rosica talks with Florida legal legend Sandy D’Alemberte, who reminisces on fond memories of Antonin Scalia. The Supreme Court Justice died Saturday at the age of 79. Manley Fuller introduces us to a national nonprofit group called American Forests, which since 1940 has been scouring the U.S., looking for the biggest trees in the land. When they find a big tree, they make measurements, compare with other known specimens, and finally record the biggest as Champion…

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Should Uber, like Airbnb, employ a lighter touch with regulators?

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In its vigorous effort to legalize “ridesharing,” Uber has made some enemies among decision makers. Two days after the firm announced a pointed withdrawal from all operations in Broward County, officials in Key West are now saying they may arrest drivers who run afoul of local ordinances banning electronic ride-hailing. Meanwhile in Paris, French officials recently detained top Uber executives for questioning in a possible criminal probe. Uber’s fellow travelers of the new so-called sharing economy at Airbnb, on the other hand, have steadily made gains and…

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Uber wants ridesharing on the agenda during summertime Session

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The ridesharing app company Uber is appealing to the public for support in its effort to convince lawmakers to include legislation to regulate its industry in the call for a special session this summer. “We need your help to make sure the Legislature doesn’t go home again without taking up ridesharing legislation during the special session,” the email to users and supporters reads. “This is your opportunity to tell Governor [Rick] Scott, House Speaker [Steve] Crisafulli and Senate President [Andy] Gardiner…

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Legislature’s Uber regulation efforts stuck in neutral

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Advocates for ride-sharing firms Lyft and Uber evidently did not reach an agreement this weekend with traditional taxi cab and limousine stakeholders, as a ride-sharing policy bill sponsored by state Rep. Matt Gaetz was temporarily postponed Monday for the second time in as many appearances on the House floor. HB 817 is generally considered a pro-Uber piece of legislation, but it recently took on amendments sponsored by state Reps. Kathleen Peters and Mike Miller that tightened requirements on ride-sharing operations, making the bill more palatable to taxi companies. That legislative back and…

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House Uber bill TP’d, resolution with Senate still uncertain

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As is the case with so many other issues – not least of which is the $4 million budget chasm stemming from inter-cameral differences on hospital funding for indigent services – the House and Senate still seem to be quite a ways off from passing anything resembling a unified ride sharing bill to govern firms like Uber and Lyft. Swiftly and without any commotion, House leaders and bill sponsor Rep. Matt Gaetz of Shalimar came to an agreement by which his HB…

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Uber’s fortunes uncertain as House, Senate gear up for ride sharing fight

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With just six days before end of regular legislative business this Session, the House and Senate are still troublesomely far apart on legislation regarding the popular ride sharing apps Uber and Lyft, particularly if you’re an advocate for the expansion of “transportation network companies” as they are rendered in committee-speak. The Senate today passed SB 1298 by Altamonte Springs Sen. David Simmons which would increase insurance requirements beyond the now-voluntary insurance policies already they already carry. Support for the bill came well short of a…

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