Florida Governor Rick Scott signs Uber/Lyft bill into law

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) - In an expected move, Florida Governor Rick Scott has signed into law CS/HB 221, known as the "Uber/Lyft Bill" which makes requirements for ride-sharing services uniform throughout the state.

The bill will override the patchwork of local laws throughout the state for things like background checks and insurance requirements.

"I’m proud to sign this legislation today to make it easier for ridesharing companies to thrive in Florida and help ensure the safety of our families," said Scott, "Florida is one of the most business-friendly states in the nation because of our efforts to reduce burdensome regulations and encourage innovation and job creation across all industries, including transportation. I look forward to seeing the continued growth of ridesharing companies in our state.”

"This legislation will ensure the innovative ridesharing network across Florida continues to thrive. Helping Florida businesses grow is critical to our economy, and this bill will also empower workers across the state to work when and where they want to meet the needs of their families," said Cissy Proctor, executive director of the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity.

Under the new law, minimum insurance levels of $50,000 are set for death and bodily injury per person, $100,000 for death and bodily injury per accident and $25,000 for property damage. Background checks for drivers will also be done by Uber and Lyft.

The new law does have its critics, like limo and taxi cab companies. Critics say companies like Uber and Lyft are playing on an uneven playing field. That's because the digital companies don't have to comply with things like vehicle inspection, background checks, safety and license checks that limo and taxi cab companies do.

Also signed into law today by Gov. Scott:

CS/SB 10
“Lake Okeechobee Bill” – This bill allocates funds for a reservoir south of Lake Okeechobee and provides a loan for the construction of the C-51 reservoir. Click HERE to see Governor Scott’s statement on this bill.

CS/CS/HB 111
Public Records/Identity of Witness to a Murder – This bill creates a public records exemption for criminal intelligence or criminal investigative information that reveals personal identifying information of a witness to a murder.

CS/CS/HB 151
“Therapy Dog for Children Bill” – This bill allows children, victims, and individuals with intellectual disabilities to use therapy animals and facility dogs in legal proceedings.

CS/HB 239
Public Records/Protective Injunction Petitions – This bill creates a public records exemption for petitions for protection against domestic violence, stalking or cyberstalking if it is dismissed.

CS/HB 305
Law Enforcement Body Cameras – This bill allows a law enforcement officer using a body camera to review the recorded footage before writing a report or providing a statement.

CS/HB 399
Guardianship – This bill revises procedures relating to incapacity hearings and the circumstances under which the court may approve divorce for persons under the protection of a guardianship.

CS/HB 401
Notaries Public – This bill allows public notaries to accept a veteran health information card issued by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs as a valid form of I.D.

HB 671
Reemployment Assistance Fraud – This bill authorizes the Department of Economic Opportunity to access digital records maintained by the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles to prevent reemployment assistance claims fraud.

CS/CS/HB 805
Relating to Insurance Policy Transfers – This bill allows an insurer to transfer a residential or commercial residential property insurance policy to an authorized insurer of the same group or owned by the same holding company.

CS/HB 6533
Relief/Jennifer Wohlgemuth/Pasco County Sheriff's Office – This bill directs Pasco County and the Pasco County Sheriff’s Office to compensate the family of Jennifer Wohlgemuth for injuries sustained in an incident involving the Pasco County Sheriff’s Office.