Members of the Texas House of Representatives voted Wednesday to approve House Bill 100 by Representative Chris Paddie (R-Marshall) establishing statewide regulation of Transportation Network Companies (TNCs) such as Uber and Lyft.
HB100 voids existing city ordinances and does not require fingerprint background checks. Those checks have been a point of contention in the City of Austin. Uber and Lyft stopped operating in the city after voters took the polls and said they want to require the checks.
Representative Yvonne Davis (D-Dallas) tried to add an amendment to let cities continue to require those checks if they choose.
"To not have these drivers do a fingerprint background check is just ridiculous," Davis said on the House floor.
"I think the state 'ought to step up and say we've vetted every avenue to make sure that when citizens get in these vehicles they're with a driver they can trust. And to the extent we're not doing it, we should not prevent our cities from doing it," she added.
Austin Representatives Gina Hinojosa, Eddie Rodriguez and Celia Israel supported the amendment, but it was voted down.
Representatives will take a final vote on the bill before sending it to the House.
The CEO of Austin nonprofit RideAustin, released the following statement in regards to the news.
“We started RideAustin to bring mobility back after Uber abruptly chose to leave Austinites out-of-work and stranded. While we respect the State Legislature’s ability to overrule Austin voters - we believe the local Austin community is the best to set local Austin rules. In any scenario - we believe that RideAustin represents the local community values and will continue to be embraced by the local community.”