House votes to send proposed ridesharing company regulations to Governor Greitens

The state House has voted to send Governor Eric Greitens (R) a bill to regulate ride sharing companies like Uber and Lyft.

Representative Kirk Mathews (photo; Tim Bommel, Missouri House Communications)
Representative Kirk Mathews (photo; Tim Bommel, Missouri House Communications)

Representatives voted 144-7 to endorse House Bill 130, sponsored by Pacific Republican Kirk Mathews.  He told lawmakers such companies could mean thousands of jobs in Missouri, but those companies might leave the state if his bill failed.

“There’s enormous demand for these services in our state,” said Mathews.  “The economic driver that this can be for our state, not just in the way that there will be thousands of new small businesses, but keeping Missouri competitive to compete on the national stage for high-tech businesses.”

The bill would require such companies, which let customers use apps to connect them to drivers offering rides, to pay a $5,000 licensing fee and conduct driver background checks and vehicle inspections.  It would also exempt companies from local taxes and bar the hiring of drivers guilty of certain offenses.

The bill had broad bipartisan support, including from St. Louis Democrat Karla May, who had filed her own rideshare legislation.

“I just want to tell you congratulations and I’m excited,” May said to Mathews.  “I can’t wait to see these jobs come into fruition.”

HB 130 advanced in part because of a compromise with Kansas City and St. Louis, who wanted criminal background checks of rideshare drivers including fingerprinting.  Under the compromise, rideshare companies will perform checks on drivers and Kansas City and St. Louis can audit those records twice a year.

It is now up to Governor Greitens whether to sign HB 130 into law, veto it, or allow it to become law without his action.  If it becomes law it will take effect on August 28.