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Ridesharing Bill Approved By House, Now Heads To Fallin's Desk

A car with both an Uber sticker and Lyft's signature pink mustache.
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A car with both an Uber sticker and Lyft's signature pink mustache.

The Oklahoma House approved a bill Thursday that sets up a regulatory framework for ridesharing programs.

The legislation by state Rep. Katie Henke defines companies like Uber and Lyft as those that use a digital network or software application to connect passengers and drivers.

“It promotes economic growth, it promotes public safety, and it provides consumer choice in the transportation market which I think is needed,” the Tulsa Republican said during floor debate.

But an amendment added to the bill by the Senate that removed a provision protecting gay and transgender passengers from discrimination prompted state Rep.  Jason Dunnington to debate against the bill.

The Oklahoma City Democrat said he would vote for the bill, but he objected to what he described as "senseless discrimination."

“Have we not learned from other states like Indiana, that tried to do similar things on a state level, and had a complete country backlash?” Dunnington asked. “And if you look at where the backlash came, it came from business community as well, it came from faith community.”

After a final 84-3 vote on the measure it now goes to Gov. Mary Fallin for her signature.

Information from the Associated Press was used in this report.

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Brian Hardzinski is from Flower Mound, Texas and a graduate of the University of Oklahoma. He began his career at KGOU as a student intern, joining KGOU full time in 2009 as Operations and Public Service Announcement Director. He began regularly hosting Morning Edition in 2014, and became the station's first Digital News Editor in 2015-16. Brian’s work at KGOU has been honored by Public Radio News Directors Incorporated (PRNDI), the Oklahoma Association of Broadcasters, the Oklahoma Associated Press Broadcasters, and local and regional chapters of the Society of Professional Journalists. Brian enjoys competing in triathlons, distance running, playing tennis, and entertaining his rambunctious Boston Terrier, Bucky.
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