Bill regulating Uber passes House vote

Legislation that for the first time regulates popular ride-share services Uber and Lyft in Georgia passed the state House on Wednesday.

House Bill 225, which requires drivers for Uber and Lyft to pass background checks, was approved by a 160-10 vote and sent to the Senate.

It was sponsored by state Rep. Alan Powell, R-Hartwell, who has tried for two years to lay some level of oversight onto the ride-share services that use smartphone apps to connect drivers and passengers.

States across the country have struggled with balancing the need to ensure passenger safety and promoting the companies’ innovative approach to a legacy marketplace.

The compromise bill adopted Wednesday does not require the companies to have their drivers’ fingerprinted, which was a major bone of contention for Uber. Instead the companies can conduct their own background checks but will be subject to state audit.

HB 225 also requires the companies to either pay state sales taxes or an annual fee for each car in its network.

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