It has been a wild ride for the ride-sharing giant Uber as Kansas lawmakers tried to crack down on the company’s business practices. First, the legislature passed SB 117, The Creation of Kansas Transportation Network Company Services Act- also known as the “Uber bill.” In its original form, the legislation required all drivers to carry comprehensive and collision insurance and to undergo background checks through the Kansas Bureau of Investigation.
Governor Sam Brownback vetoed the bill, and then the legislature overrode his veto. Once that happened, Uber pulled out of Kansas completely. Social media and lawmakers’ emails exploded with messages from angry Uber riders. A week later, a compromise surfaced to bring the company back.
The compromise allows Uber and other ride sharing companies to do their own private background checks on their drivers, but it allows the attorney general to sue if it’s discovered that any drivers have criminal backgrounds. Anyone with a history of DUI, identity theft or sexual assault would be banned from driving completely. The insurance requirements still stand as long as a driver has a lien on their car. If they don’t carry the proper insurance they risk losing their vehicles.
Brownback signed the bill into law on May 22… and then left in an Uber car. According to the company, they were up and running again within two minutes of the signing ceremony.
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