With deadline nearing, state committee continues work on recommendations for rideshare bill
When Gov. Tim Walz vetoed a bill last May that would have increased pay and offered more job protections for rideshare drivers, it brought loud protests from Uber and Lyft workers lobbying for the bill.
In a sort of compromise, the governor issued an executive order creating a “Committee on the Compensation, Wellbeing and Fair Treatment of Transportation Network Company Drivers.” The committee is made up of rideshare drivers, representatives of Uber and Lyft and others appointed by the governor.
The committee has held six meetings so far, some of them contentious, and is close to issuing a report the governor requested by Jan. 1.
“Today and Dec. 19, we will be having those discussions and we’ll reach consensus on the recommendations that will be included in the report,” said Nicole Blissenbach, chair of the committee and the Minnesota Commissioner of Labor and Industry.
The governor vetoed the bill last May after Uber and Lyft threatened to pull service from parts of Minnesota because of how much they say the bill would have increased what riders pay for rides.
The report will focus on five primary areas, including transparency, deactivation of drivers, driver support, compensation and insurance. The Legislature and governor could then take the issue up again during the 2024 legislative session that starts in February.
Similar efforts are being pursued in the Twin Cities as the Minneapolis City Council and Mayor Jacob Frey have been working to create local regulations to help rideshare drivers. Like Walz, Frey vetoed a measure approved by council members over the summer, but council members have unveiled new plans for an ordinance in the past several weeks.