No signature, no problem

Law prohibiting regulation of ride-sharing services passes

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COEUR d'ALENE - A law that would prohibit local governments from regulating ride-sharing services, such as Uber, is going to pass without the governor's signature.

In a transmittal letter dated April 6, the governor said the legislation puts two of his political principles in conflict.

"I have worked hard to ensure that my years in public service reflect my political principles," Gov. Butch Otter wrote. "Two of those principles are an emphasis on local control and a bias for free-market solutions."

He said supporting HB 262 would force him to choose between the two principles.

"Instead, I am choosing and encouraging watchful caution," he wrote.

Gov. Otter said Uber is a prime example of a free market enterprise that has flourished despite the "confusing patchwork of local regulatory limitations."

On the other hand, Otter said he understands the concerns expressed by local governments.

"I share fears about such regulations essentially trumping local restrictions, safeguards and - for lack of a better term on baseball's opening day - ground rules for doing business in each of our communities," he wrote. "I am wary of the State unwittingly creating a competitive advantage for Uber over small local taxi services or other competitors."

With that said, Otter wrote he will respect the Legislature's vote to enact the legislation, which has been adopted in other states as well.

"But other states are not Idaho, and I encourage us all to watch carefully to ensure we remember that here," he wrote. "Government closest to the people governs best."

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