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House postpones vote on Uber insurance bill

After the Senate passed a bill Thursday requiring drivers for companies like Uber and Lyft to be insured, House leadership on Friday postponed a vote on its version.

The two plans present starkly different visions for regulating ridesharing companies in Florida. And House sponsor Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-Fort Walton Beach, said he was unwilling to change much of what’s in his bill.

Under both proposals, drivers would need to secure up to $1 million in coverage. That's where the bills' similarities stop.

The Senate plan (SB 1298), which passed by a 28-12 vote Thursday, requires ride-sharing drivers to have insurance regulated by the state, starting next year. It also requires insurance for properties listed on short-term home rental companies like Airbnb.

In the House, proposed legislation (HB 817) has a much wider reach, requiring deep background checks for drivers and opposing local regulations.

Gaetz is entering a larger debate, pitting Uber and Lyft against taxi companies and local governments.

Cities and counties, including Hillsborough County, have for the past few years tried to regulate or get rid of Uber and Lyft.

But Gaetz's bill bans local governments from doing that. It also allows ride-sharing companies to use insurers that aren't regulated by the state.

More here.

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