Over the past two legislative sessions, there has been considerable effort put into legislation to establish a statewide regulatory structure for Transportation Network Companies (TNC’s) such as Uber. It would promote expansion in the state while ensuring protection for both drivers and passengers.
Without a statewide framework for ride-sharing services, each individual jurisdiction was left to craft its own set of regulations. This can lead to a patchwork of local rules, which creates confusion for Uber drivers, and may unnecessarily drive up the cost for TNC’s to offer their service altogether.
Also important within this legislation is the need for updated laws governing the treatment of TNC’s under Iowa’s insurance code. Under existing law, driving for a TNC is considered a commercial activity, and therefore the driver’s personal auto coverage may not provide coverage.
This year’s bill, House File 2414 sets up this statewide regulatory structure giving companies like Uber the needed framework to expand while maintaining important protective measures like background checks, minimum levels of insurance, and other requirements. On May 9, Governor Branstad signed House File 2414 into law. The law will take affect on January 1, 2017.
Innovative technologies have opened the floodgates of opportunity for Iowa entrepreneurs, making it important to ensure that our regulatory climate is such that these new business ventures can thrive. I am excited for the opportunities this will afford to Iowans looking for a safe, alternative means of transportation and for drivers looking to make additional income.
As advances in technology continue to change the way we live our daily lives, it is important for state government to be responsive; and, in many cases, get out of the way of private sector innovation.
Although the 2016 legislative session has ended, our work continues in the interim. It is a great honor to serve as your representative. As always, I want to hear from you. Please don’t hesitate to contact me with any questions or concerns.