Uber lives in Kansas. At least for now. Gov. Sam Brownback vetoed Senate Bill 177 on Monday, citing the importance of creating an economic environment that embraces innovation and the growth of new businesses.
In his veto message to the Kansas legislature, the Governor said:
“While I appreciate the legislature’s hard work on this legislation, I believe this bill is premature. To overregulate or improperly regulate an emerging industry before the marketplace actors make proper arrangements is to invite more problems, not less.
"Kansas should be known as a state that embraces economic growth and innovation. The jobs created by this new industry can bring opportunity to many Kansas families. An open and free marketplace often results in higher quality products at a more affordable price.
“This will allow companies like Uber to continue and expand operations in Kansas, where they otherwise would not be able to do so.
“I applaud the discussions that have taken place nationally between the emerging ride-sharing industry and insurance companies. Similar discussions now need to take place with the banking community, which understandably wants to ensure its financial interests are also protected.
“I also applaud the legislature’s interest in protecting the safety of our citizens. I strongly support background checks for ride-sharing drivers. However, the ride-sharing industry believes the background requirement as currently written, weakens rather than strengthens, the level of scrutiny placed on its potential drivers.
“Therefore, I believe more time, more collaboration, and more discussion will ultimately result in a better public policy product for Kansas. In the meantime, local municipalities will regulate the ride-sharing industry just as they have always done with traditional passenger transportation companies. At this moment in time, they are better equipped to understand the unique and emerging challenges and opportunities the ride-sharing industry brings to their communities.
“Though I am vetoing this bill, I am also calling upon ride-sharing companies, insurers, banks and credit unions, to work with our legislature to resolve their differences. These discussions have already begun among Uber and many major insurance companies. The same should begin with banks and credit unions. I look forward to reviewing a new bill that results from these conversations.”
Pursuant to Article 2, Section 14(a) of the Constitution of the State of Kansas, I hereby veto House Substitute for Senate Bill 117.
The Governor has now signed 42 bills into law and vetoed one bill this session. By law, the Kansas governor has 10 calendar days to sign the bill into law, veto the bill or allow the bill to become law without his or her signature.