By JIM TURNER
THE NEWS SERVICE OF FLORIDA
THE CAPITAL, TALLAHASSEE, December 8, 2015……….The Senate isn’t ready to match a House proposal that would prevent local governments from regulating popular app-based transportation services, such as Uber and Lyft.
Senate President Andy Gardiner, R-Orlando, said Tuesday his chamber will again focus during the 2016 legislative session on setting insurance requirements for drivers for the rideshare services.
Gardiner expects Sen. David Simmons, R-Altamonte Springs, to file legislation that would seek to impose new insurance requirements, addressing a “gap ” period that involves the time between when a driver is notified about a having a customer to pick up and the actual pickup.
A House subcommittee last week approved a more far-reaching proposal (HB 509) that would preempt city and county regulation of the services.
“We’re not blocking anything,” Gardiner told reporters gathered in his office Tuesday. “If you look at Uber and these other technologies, which are great, they all have worked out agreements with cities and counties around the state, that each have different regulations, and we should respect that.”
Earlier this year, the Senate tried to advance a measure that would have set the minimum automobile liability insurance during gap periods at $125,000 for death and bodily injury per person.
The Senate’s gap coverage would have also required $250,000 for death and bodily injury per incident, and $50,000 for property damage, the same as for cabs and limos regulated by local governments.
The House proposal that passed the House Highway & Waterway Safety Subcommittee last week would require gap coverage of $50,000 for death and bodily injury per person, $100,000 for death and bodily injury per incident and $25,000 for property damage.
Rep. Matt Gaetz, a Fort Walton Beach Republican who is the sponsor of the House measure, has said he hopes to be able to “meld” his proposal into any Senate measures for the 2016 session, which starts Jan. 12.