Statewide Uber bill appears dead

Close, but no cigar.


A bill to establish statewide rules for “transportation network companies” like Uber and Lyft has apparently run out of road.

Rep. Chris Paddie, who authored the measure, said on Tuesday that looming legislative deadlines had rendered the idea all but dead. He said he would look for other avenues for the high-profile proposal, but said his options are limited in the session’s waning days.

The Marshall Republican admitted that “maybe it’s something for another time.”

“This process, which is a great process, makes it very difficult to pass legislation,” he said. “My bill, in this case, was a casualty of the process.”


That result – common for bills at this stage – appears to mark an unspectacular end for a bill that was at the center of high-dollar lobbying efforts for and against it.


But the surest sign that Paddie’s effort faces trouble came on Tuesday, when the House voted overwhelmingly for a bill that would create statewide rules for “transportation network companies” on just one topic: insurance.

That more limited bill had the support of the city of Dallas, for instance, and representatives of Uber and Lyft. While Paddie said he obviously favored his approach, he nonetheless called that effort a “nice first step.”

See here, here, and here for the background. Lots of bills died at midnight last night, but in the parlance of The Princess Bride, Rep. Paddie’s bill is just mostly dead; it won’t be all dead until sine die. As such, it would still be nice for the Mayoral candidates to have an opinion on it, because if it does get revived it will happen all at once and with little to no notice. In the meantime, I don’t know what the bill that would establish insurance rules for TNCs is, but that’s the approach I have advocated from the beginning, so it’s fine by me. We’ll see if it makes it through the Senate. The Trib, which notes the similar deadline-caused demise of the Tesla bills, has more.

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