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Stickland: ‘I come on behalf of the free market’

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Today, the House debated HB 100, the much anticipated “Uber bill.”

The bill aims to repeal local ordinances regulating ride-sharing companies like Uber and Lyft, and replaces them with state-level regulations instead.

If passed, the new regulations would include a mandated annual fee of $5,000 for a new license to operate in Texas. Many city leaders opposed the bill because it strips them of their right to tax ride-share companies. Uber and Lyft supported the bill because it creates a uniform law across the state, making it easier to operate.

But conservative bull, Rep. Jonathan Stickland argued that many of the regulations in the bill will discourage entrepreneurs and smaller competitors from entering the marketplace.



When he took the microphone to offer an amendment to the bill, Stickland proclaimed, “I come on behalf of the free market.” His amendment struck almost the entirety of the bill’s language, leaving only state preemption in tact. Effectively, his amendment would have prevented cities and the state from applying any regulations on ride-sharing.

In an exchange with Rep. Celia Israel, he argued that Uber had existed and operated just fine before cities and states started regulating them, and that new regulations were unnecessary and anti-free market.

“Today,” Stickland told the members, “you have the chance to vote on whether you think the free market works, or it doesn’t.”

His amendment was defeated 111-23.

Later in the day, Rep. Matt Schaefer offered a similar free market amendment which would have erased the entirety of the bill and left only the prohibition on sex offenders in place.

He was not pleased with the bill’s creation of the new operational license and other regulations.

Rep. Matt Rinaldi concurred, pointing out the bill before the House basically wrote Uber’s rules and operations into statute, forcing smaller competitors to adopt Uber’s rules.

He told Schaefer, “You have a great amendment to what’s become a very problematic bill.”

Schaefer’s amendment was tabled 117-30.

HB 100 was passed 110-37. It must be passed one more time before going to the Senate.

Vote:

Yeas – Alonzo; Anderson, C.; Anderson, R.; Ashby; Bailes; Bell; Bohac; Bonnen, D.; Bonnen, G.; Burkett; Burns; Burrows; Button; Canales; Capriglione; Clardy; Collier; Cook; Cortez; Cosper; Craddick; Cyrier; Dale; Darby; Davis, S.; Dean; Dutton; Elkins; Faircloth; Fallon; Farrar; Flynn; Frank; Frullo; Geren; Goldman; Gonzales; Gooden; Guerra; Guillen; Gutierrez; Hefner; Herrero; Holland; Huberty; Hunter; Isaac; Johnson, E.; Johnson, J.; Kacal; King, K.; King, P.; King, T.; Klick; Koop; Krause; Kuempel(C); Lambert; Landgraf; Larson; Laubenberg; Leach; Longoria; Lozano; Lucio; Martinez; Metcalf; Meyer; Miller; Moody; Morrison; Muñoz; Murphy; Murr; Nevárez; Oliveira; Oliverson; Paddie; Parker; Paul; Perez; Phelan; Phillips; Pickett; Price; Raney; Raymond; Roberts; Romero; Sanford; Schofield; Schubert; Shaheen; Sheffield; Shine; Simmons; Smithee; Springer; Stephenson; Stucky; Thierry; Thompson, E.; Thompson, S.; VanDeaver; Villalba; White; Workman; Wray; Zedler; Zerwas

Nays – Allen; Alvarado; Anchia; Arévalo; Bernal; Biedermann; Blanco; Cain; Coleman; Davis, Y.; Deshotel; Dukes; Gervin-Hawkins; Giddings; González; Hernandez; Hinojosa; Howard; Israel; Lang; Minjarez; Neave; Ortega; Reynolds; Rinaldi; Rodriguez, E.; Rodriguez, J.; Rose; Schaefer; Stickland; Swanson; Tinderholt; Turner; Uresti; Vo; Walle; Wu

Present, not voting – Mr. Speaker

Absent, Excused – Keough

Absent – Wilson



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