News from the Alaska State Legislature, the Office of Senator Costello
For Immediate Release: May 17, 2017

Ridesharing Bill Coasts through Senate

Costello_stamp.jpgSenator Mia Costello   Web Site    Send Email

JUNEAU – Today, the Alaska State Senate unanimously passed a bill allowing ridesharing services such as Uber, Lyft, and SideCar to operate in Alaska.

House Bill 132, like its companion Senate Bill 14 introduced by Sen. Mia Costello, R-Anchorage, improves transportation and economic opportunity in Alaska by providing clarity to the state’s insurance and workers compensation statutes.

“Alaska is in the midst of its first recession since the 1980s and this bill creates jobs, providing a much-needed boost to the economy,” said Sen. Costello.  

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.

“We made sure important safeguards are in place,” said Sen. Costello. “In addition, ridesharing services will 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.

“These services improve access to transportation for all Alaskans, but particularly for those living in underserved areas, the elderly and people with disabilities,” said Sen. Costello.

The bill is now on its way to the governor’s desk to be signed into law.

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 Shelley Hughes

Alaska Senate Urges Railroad Crossing through Canada

JUNEAU – The Alaska Senate today unanimously voted for a resolution urging the U.S. to issue a presidential permit allowing a railroad crossing between Alaska and Canada....  Full Story >>

Senator Click Bishop

PFD Raffle for Education Raises Nearly $1 million

The numbers are in for the 2019 Alaska Permanent Fund Education Raffle. The program, in its first year, raised a grand total of $976,400, with 85 percent of the proceeds directly benefiting...  Full Story >>

Senator Peter Micciche

'Save the Alaska State Fair Act’ Passes Senate

The Alaska Senate today unanimously passed Senate Bill 16 to clarify irregularities detrimental to small businesses in the state’s alcohol license laws.  Full Story >>

Senator Natasha von Imhof

Senate Finance Introduces Spending Cap, 50/50 POMV Split

JUNEAU – The Senate Finance Committee today introduced a pair of bills to cap government spending and establish a 50-50 split between dividends and state expenses from the limited...  Full Story >>

Senator Mia Costello

Legislators Update Alaska Innovation Caucus

Leaders from all parties come together for Alaska’s future economy  Full Story >>

Senator Cathy Giessel

Senate Approves Renewal of Alaska Vaccine Assessment Program

JUNEAU – The Alaska Senate today unanimously approved a measure that improves statewide access to vaccines and reduces healthcare costs for providers and insurance payers....  Full Story >>

Majority Press Office

Senate Majority Cheers Sturgeon Supreme Court Victory

JUNEAU – Today, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled 9-0 in favor of John Sturgeon, finding that the Nation River is state, not federal, land, and is therefore navigable inside of Alaska’s...  Full Story >>

Senator Bert Stedman

Alaska Senate Approves Funding for Earthquake Disaster Relief

JUNEAU – The Alaska Senate today unanimously approved funding to aid communities impacted by the Nov. 30 Southcentral earthquake.  Full Story >>

Senator David Wilson

Proposal Would Allow PFD Donations to General Fund

JUNEAU – A bill was introduced in the Alaska Senate this week to give Alaskans the option of donating all or a portion of their Permanent Fund dividends (PFDs) directly to the state’s...  Full Story >>

Senator John Coghill

Bill Introduced to Repeal Rules Restricting Speech, Process

JUNEAU – Today, a bill was introduced in the Alaska Senate to repeal provisions of a new law found to be too restrictive of Alaska’s citizen legislature.  Full Story >>

Find your Senator full map