News from the Alaska State Legislature, the Office of Senator Costello
For Immediate Release: March 23, 2017

Senate Majority gives Ridesharing Bill Greenlight

Costello_stamp.jpgSenator Mia Costello   Web Site    Send Email

JUNEAU – A bill to allow ridesharing services such as Uber, Lyft, and SideCar to operate in Alaska passed the Alaska State Senate today by a vote of 14 to 5.

Senate Bill 14, also known as the Let’s Ride Alaska Act, improves transportation and economic opportunity in Alaska by providing clarity to the state’s insurance and workers compensation statutes.

“The Senate began this session focused on the economy,” said Sen. Mia Costello (R-Anchorage), the bill’s sponsor. “In the midst of our first recession since the 1980s, this bill creates jobs and provides a much-needed boost to the economy, at no cost to the state.”    

The bill classifies rideshare drivers as independent contractors and exempts them from workers’ compensation, similar to taxi drivers.

“Rideshare drivers use their own cars and equipment, work on their own time and can even be off-duty taxi drivers,” Sen. Costello said. “Drivers can work when, where and how they want, which is why it makes sense to allow them to work as independent contractors.”

The bill also requires prospective ridesharing companies to conduct safety background checks, enforce zero tolerance substance policies and numerous other safeguards.

“The safety of our communities is a top concern,” said Sen. Costello. “We made sure important safeguards are in this bill. We also expect ridesharing services to improve safety on the roads – as they have in other states – by reducing the number of DUIs.”

Over 20,000 Alaskans already have a ridesharing application installed on their phones.

“Allowing these services to operate in Alaska is an innovative way to create jobs for Alaskans, expand transportation options and improve public safety in our state,” said Sen. Costello. “These services improve access to transportation for all Alaskans, but particularly for those living in underserved areas, the elderly and people with disabilities.”

SB 14 is now on its way to the Alaska House of Representatives.

For more information, contact Senate Majority Press Secretary Daniel McDonald at (907) 465-4066.

###

Share this on Twitter Tweet icon-facebook.png Share

News & Videos more >

Senator John Coghill

Statement from Sen. Coghill on Passing of his Father, Jack Coghill

JUNEAU – John Bruce “Jack” Coghill passed away this morning at the age of 93 of natural causes.  Full Story >>

Senator Bert Stedman

Co-Chairs of Senate Finance Comment on Governor’s Budget Proposal

JUNEAU – Today, the co-chairs of the Senate Finance Committee, Senator Bert Stedman (R-Sitka) and Senator Natasha von Imhof (R-Anchorage), commented on Governor Michael J....  Full Story >>

Senator Click Bishop

Bishop introduces bill to re-establish education head tax

With many in Juneau anticipating budget cuts Wednesday from the governor, a legislator has introduced a bill to establish a $30 education head tax to help raise money for school...  Full Story >>

Senator David Wilson

Statement from Sen. Wilson on Dunleavy Admin’s API Decision

JUNEAU –Today, Senator David Wilson (R-Wasilla), chairman of the Senate Health and Social Services Committee, released the following statement in response to the Dunleavy...  Full Story >>

Senator Cathy Giessel

Senate Majority Focused on Crime, Budget & Protecting Permanent Fund

JUNEAU – The 31st Alaska Legislature convened today, and with it a new 14-member Senate Majority laid out its vision for Alaska: A government that responsibly budgets, prioritizes...  Full Story >>

Senator Peter Micciche

Sen. Micciche Bill Closes “Schneider Loopholes” for Sexual Assault

JUNEAU — Today, Senator Peter Micciche (R-Soldotna) filed Senate Bill 12 to eliminate the “Schneider Loopholes” in Alaska’s criminal code. The case of Justin Schneider, the man...  Full Story >>

Senator Cathy Giessel

Senate Majority Welcomes Significant Step toward ANWR Development

ANCHORAGE – Members of the Alaska Senate Majority today welcomed a significant step toward opening the 1002 area of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR) for responsible resource...  Full Story >>

Senator Bert Stedman

Senate Finance Co-Chairs Comment on Preliminary Budget

ANCHORAGE – Today, co-chairs of the Senate Finance Committee, Senator Bert Stedman (R-Sitka) and Senator Natasha von Imhof (R-Anchorage), commented on Governor Mike Dunleavy’s...  Full Story >>

Majority Press Office

Senate Majority Announces Team, Caucus Agreement

ANCHORAGE – The Alaska Senate Majority today announced its complete team for the 31st Alaska Legislature, which begins Jan. 15.  Full Story >>

Senator Cathy Giessel

New Alaska Senate Majority Announced

ANCHORAGE – Members of the Alaska Senate today formed a new majority organization including all 13 Republican senators.  Full Story >>

Find your Senator full map