Sen. Huffines Prefiles Ride-For-Hire Deregulation Bill
Senator Huffines files most comprehensive deregulation bill to date in the ongoing battle between cities, taxicabs, and transportation network companies (TNCs).
On the first day of pre-filing for the 85th Texas Legislature, State Senator Don Huffines has filed a bill that would introduce sweeping changes to the relationship between municipalities and the entire ride-for-hire industry. Senate Bill 113 will preempt any municipality from imposing burdensome regulations on taxicabs, limousines, and transportation network companies (TNCs) alike, creating a free market and level playing field for all market participants.
"Since TNCs arrived in Texas, the policy discussions concerning them have focused on the degree to which the Legislature will allow cities to regulate them like taxicabs." said Senator Huffines. "To date, however, we have been asking the wrong question. Instead of asking how or how much we should regulate TNCs, we should be contemplating whether or not the ride-for-hire industry, as a whole, should be regulated in the first place."
In recent years, too many cities across the state have taken a stifling, heavy-handed regulatory approach to innovative TNCs like Uber and Lyft, effectively pushing these businesses out of the market. Consequentially, people have lost their jobs and consumers have lost a supply to what has proven to be an enormous demand. The City of Austin is the most notable offender, but it is not alone in trampling economic liberty and consumer choice.
Senator Huffines continued, "The ride-for-hire industry keeps asking for the same thing - a fair and equal market - and I agree. But a level playing field need not mean building up regulations on innovative and popular services. Let's tear down regulations to create a truly free market for every ride-for-hire business - whether it's Uber, Lyft, or a more traditional taxi cab. In my experience as a business man, freer markets mean more competition and more competition means a better deal for the consumer."
Senator Huffines concluded his comments by remarking, "Unfortunately, this bill might ruffle some feathers in city councils across the state. However, the Legislature has an obligation to act in defense of economic and personal liberty, and that’s exactly what we will do with SB 113."