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Louisiana Legislature Could Kill Ridesharing in New Orleans, Statewide

The House passed a bill paving the way for ridesharing in the state, but the Senate is holding the bill up

Lyft Louisiana

States who have been late to the ridesharing game, like Alaska and Texas, are finally getting their acts together, but Uber, Lyft, and other ridesharing services may be hitting a snag in Louisiana, where the state Senate is attempting to kill a bill that would set safety and accessibility requirements for the companies.

HB 527 sailed through the House on a 79-12 vote earlier this month. But a funny thing happened when the bill moved to the Senate. The Hayride explains why:

John Alario, the Senate President, pulled one of his usual legislative shenanigans when the ridesharing bill came over from the House. Rather than send the bill to the Transportation Committee, which is its obvious proper placement, it’s now going to three different committees.

Three different committees to clear with only two weeks left in the session leaves an exceptionally difficult schedule to meet for the bill to get to the Senate floor for a final-passage vote. Triple referrals at the beginning of a session are a major hurdle; at the end of a session they’re more or less a death sentence.

The arguments in favor of the bill are numerous, but one key element is the $1.2 million in revenue that the regulations would bring New Orleans. Under HB 527, Baton Rouge would also receive more money than they currently do.

Perhaps most importantly, however, ridesharing has been a boon to local economies. A study conducted in states as diverse as New York, Texas, and Missouri found ridesharing services like Lyft and Uber brought in millions to local communities and businesses.

This comes on the heels of Texas passing a similar bill through its legislature this month, as well as Alaska. Both states are sending ride-hailing legislation to their respective governors to sign into law.

Time will tell if Louisiana is able to do the same.