In an overwhelming vote of 92.6 percent, delegates at last week’s 2016 Texas Republican Convention approved platform language in support of the state legislature taking the driver’s seat on ride-sharing regulations.
Ridesharing policies are currently a hot issue in the Lone Star State as the debate continues on what extent regulations should be imposed on innovative companies like Uber and Lyft—and who should have the authority to impose them.
The platform language approved leans heavily to the state sovereignty position:
The language stands as a sharp contrast to the current environment in which Houston, San Antonio, and most recently the City of Austin, have implemented harsh growth stifling regulations that make it difficult or impossible for ridesharing companies to exist.
With these latest propositions passed by Austin and other cities, residents are left with less jobs and fewer transportation options— a perfect example of innovation suffering when government becomes involved.
What grassroots Republicans are proposing the state do to counteract the cities’ actions, which some have called a transformation of local control into local tyranny, isn’t new. Indeed several legislators have already stated their openness to the idea.
While it is not clear at this time what the full-extent of the legislation would be, state pre-emption of over-burdensome local restrictions will be a topic of heavy discussion when lawmakers return to Austin in January. With cities refusing to budge and even threatening greater restrictions it seems that for the time being, the only hope of Uber and Lyft returning to Austin depends on the Texas Legislature.