Texas lawmakers begin mulling hot-button ride-hailing bill

By EVA RUTH MORAVEC
Associated Press

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) - Contentious testimony is expected during a Texas House hearing on a proposal to allow ride-hailing companies like Lyft and Uber to operate statewide.

The bill, sponsored by Marshall Republican Rep. Chris Paddie, will be presented during a committee meeting Thursday.

Committee Chairman Joe Pickett said changes to the taxi industry are "probably inevitable."

Paddie's proposal requires companies to conduct driver background checks, cover them with commercial insurance policies and provide services for wheelchair-bound passengers or pay a fee.

To operate across Texas, companies also would have to register and pay annual state charges.

Lyft and Uber have lobbied heavily for the bill. It would supersede local ordinances in places like San Antonio, where rules were so strenuous the companies stopped operating.

But taxi companies say the bill's not strict enough.

Copyright 2015 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


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