In a disappointing development, the Kansas Legislature has overturned Gov. Sam Brownback’s veto of S.B. 117, the so-called “Uber bill.”

While S.B. 117 is not without redeeming qualities – a regulatory framework is indeed necessary – its flaws will place serious burdens on the state’s transportation network company operators. Among these burdens is an unusual provision requiring drivers with a lien on their vehicles to carry additional insurance coverages.

In practice, this means that virtually all drivers will be compelled to furnish these additional coverages, because most new vehicles – like those required by TNCs of their drivers – are financed.

Though touted as a crucial step to address legitimate concerns on the part of lenders, the rationale for such a requirement is suspect. In an agreement reached between large players in both the insurance and TNC industries, no such coverage requirement was contemplated.

Further, of the states that have adopted TNC regulatory regimes, only one other has insisted on such a requirement.

This legislation likely will have a chilling effect on TNC services in Kansas, leaving consumers to suffer as their transportation-for-hire options diminish.

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