By Marie Albiges 1/26/17  Community Impact Newspaper

Uber and Lyft may be back on Austin’s streets this year, according to Rep. Eddie Rodriguez, D-Austin, who told a group of residents last night that he expects statewide ride-hailing regulations to pass, thus reversing the vote Austinites took last May to mandate fingerprint background checks.

“I think, knowing the Legislature the way it is right now, a bill like that has a decent chance of passing,” Rodriguez told the Austin Neighborhoods Council—a neighborhood advocacy group—at its first meeting of 2017 last night.

Rodriguez represents parts of East and Central Austin.

The bill he is referring to has been filed by Sen. Paul Schwertner, R-Georgetown, and does away with fingerprint background checks. Rodriguez said such legislation is targeted at Austin and added many other cities won’t be affected by these regulations because their local governments haven’t made fingerprint background checks mandatory, and ride-hailing companies such as Uber and Lyft haven’t pulled their business out of the market.

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