- Associated Press - Monday, December 5, 2016

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - Missouri House Speaker Todd Richardson says he hopes lawmakers can pass statewide regulations for ride-hailing companies like Uber early next year.

Richardson held a telephone news conference Monday with sponsoring Sen. Bob Onder to promote the legislation in advance of the session that starts Jan. 4.

Similar bills failed to pass earlier this year.

Uber currently operates in St. Louis, Kansas City, Springfield and Columbia. Its competitor, Lyft, does not operate in the state.

The companies have said they would be more likely to expand their app-based ride-hailing business in Missouri if there were a statewide regulatory framework instead of different requirements in each city.

Richardson and Onder said the legislation could help the economy by encouraging the companies to sign up thousands of new drivers.

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