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Uber Preps For State Regulation

Mar 9, 2015
Yellow Car with Uber Plate
Monika Hoinkis

The ride-hailing app, Uber, has been operating in the state for the better part of 2014 despite statewide concerns over safety, insurance coverage and legality. While a patchwork of regulation has begun to develop on the local level,  state lawmakers are eager to settle the issue once and for all.

The most valuable tech start up in the world does not want to be legally defined as a car service alongside taxis and limos.

parking space
Benny Lin Via Flickr

Trying to find gainful employment when you’re disabled can be varying degrees of frustrating, depending on the nature of your disability. But the Florida legislature is moving to alleviate some of those headaches.

Governor Rick Scott’s latest budget proposal allocates 8 million dollars to move people with disabilities off of a waiting list for, and onto, a Medicaid Waiver program. Melanie Mowry Etters, spokesperson for the Agency for Persons with Disabilities, says the program provides disabled people with extra services both during the job hunt and after they’re employed.

Florida Senate

A plan to review economic development zones could directly impact the Big Bend.  Sen. Jeff Clemens (D-Lake Worth) wants to renew the program and keep the more than 60 economic development zones from expiring this year. He says the current way the state encourages businesses to move into depressed areas, needs to be revamped—if the program hopes to survive.

Construction workers
University of Salford Press Office's photostream

Florida’s unemployment rate has dropped by a tenth of a percent since October. But some question if the downward trend in the unemployment rate will continue.

At 6 percent, unemployment is the lowest it’s been since June of 2008. Florida Department of Economic Opportunity Director Jesse Panuccio says he thinks the state’s economic policies are encouraging business owners to open up more jobs. 

Uber Jacksonville website
Uber

A plan that would negate local transportation rules in major Florida cities didn’t get through the legislature this year, but supporters of the deregulation made big waves in the process.

Uber—an app that summons luxury rides —wants to become a major player in Florida. But right now, it’s largely on the sidelines, offering services only in Jacksonville. At the center of the conflict is how local governments regulate the limo industry. Cities like Miami, Orlando, Tampa and Fort Lauderdale have strict rules in place when it comes to wait times and minimum fares.

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