- Associated Press - Wednesday, April 19, 2017

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) - The Texas House has voted to create statewide regulations for ride-hailing companies, potentially voiding a local Austin ordinance that caused Uber and Lyft to stop operating in the state capital.

The bill by Chris Paddie, a Republican from Marshall, brings ride-hailing companies under Texas regulators’ control while requiring them to pay state fees.

Opponents tried to block the bill using House procedural rules and debate stretched on for hours, but it passed Wednesday 110-37. A final, largely formulaic vote Thursday sends it to the Texas Senate.

Paddie said the bill wasn’t just about Uber or Austin, though that company left the city last May, after local voters endorsed an ordinance requiring drivers to be fingerprinted as part of background checks.

Paddie’s bill requires annual background checks, but not fingerprinting.

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