Thursday, December 22, 2016

Cuomo, lawmakers persevere on special session talks

In Albany’s own version of Groundhog Day, Gov. Andrew Cuomo and legislative leaders are still keeping open the possibility of a special session before the year ends that could include legalizing ride-sharing services statewide and a pay raise for lawmakers.
Cuomo, during a brief stop in Albany to preside over the Electoral College, said he’s still trying to work out a deal with the Legislature to return before the end of the year to act on a number of issues.
“It’s up in the air,” Cuomo said. “They could.”
One of the potential items would allow ride-sharing services outside of New York City. As first reported by Politico New York, draft legislation is circulating among the governor’s and legislative counsels.
It proposes amendments to the state’s insurance laws to adequately cover the drivers if there’s an accident. Upstate and Long Island residents would have to pay 50 cents per trip to help fund mass transit in New York City and its suburbs, as well as upstate bus lines.
The taxi industry is pushing back, saying in a statement that Uber and Lyft drivers on Long Island and upstate should undergo fingerprint background checks, just like regular taxi cab drivers. Uber and Lyft drivers are required to have fingerprint checks in New York City.
Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie said he would “love” to have ride-sharing outside of New York City. But he said there are safety concerns that need to be resolved first. Read full post 

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