Monday, March 24, 2014

Mitch Perry Report 3.24.14 - Hillsborough PTC back in Legislature's crosshairs?

Posted By on Mon, Mar 24, 2014 at 8:40 AM

click to enlarge State Senator Jeff Brandes
  • State Senator Jeff Brandes
This afternoon, the Transportation & Highway Safety Subcommittee will meet in Tallahassee to discuss legislation that could take away local municipalities' power to regulate limousine services and shift it to the state.

Locally, such legislation would reduce the power of the Hillsborough County Public Transportation Commission, which has been the goal of a few local Tampa Bay area legislators.

One particular issue has been the PTC's $50 minimum fare for limos. That requirement has effectively frozen out on-demand car services like Uber (as well as Lyft and Sidecar), drawing significant criticism from lots of folks who wonder why the Tampa area shouldn't have access to an upstart that is now in cities all across the county and, in fact, the world. Uber has also been shut out of Miami-Dade County. The only place it's operating these days in Florida is Jacksonville.

Such a proposal was shot down by colleagues of Jeff Brandes and Jamie Grant at the Hillsborough County Legislative Delegation meeting in December.

But now it's back in a different form. Of course, this is just one committee in the House. Whether it even gets through today is questionable, but the fact that it's even up for discussion has surprised and worried some entrenched interests in Hillsborough County.

In other news… CL observed a provocative discussion regarding the state's Stand Your Ground law, which legislators in Tallahassee only want to strengthen.

The Florida Alliance for Renewable Energy's 2014 tour landed in Pinellas County on Friday, and our Terrence Smith was there to file this report.

And there's a new political website devoted to Hispanic issues in Florida called political pasion. 

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