- Associated Press - Tuesday, April 21, 2015

MADISON, Wis. (AP) - The Wisconsin Senate has approved a bill that would create statewide regulations on ride-hailing companies such as Uber and Lyft.

The measure would prohibit any local ordinances governing ride-hailing companies. Instead, the companies would have to purchase a $5,000 state license, conduct driver background checks and maintain liability insurance. Drivers would be prohibited from discriminating against passengers based on their race, religion, sex or disability.

Supporters say the regulations will help Uber and Lyft expand around the state and create more transportation options. Critics say regulations should come from local governments, not the state and the bill is designed to protect the companies’ business model.

The Senate passed the measure on a voice vote Tuesday. The Assembly approved the proposal last week. It now goes to Gov. Scott Walker.

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