Senate Democrats Jeopardized Ride-Sharing Companies

Posted On May 6, 2015

Senate Democrats Jeopardized Ride-Sharing Companies

Albuquerque, NM- Facing pressure from a new ruling by the Public Regulation Commission, Lyft announced that it will be closing down operations in New Mexico resulting in a loss of transportation options and jobs. During the past legislative session, Representative Monica Youngblood, of Albuquerque, sponsored a bill that would have allowed ride-sharing companies such as Lyft and Uber to operate legally in New Mexico.

“Republicans and Democrats came together behind a solution to keep ride-sharing companies afloat in New Mexico, but unfortunately several Senate Democrats blocked the bill from coming to the Senate floor for a vote,” said Pat Garrett, spokesman for the Republican Party of New Mexico.

HB 272 would have laid out regulations and standards for ride-sharing companies allowing them to legally operate in New Mexico.  The bill passed the State House on March 12th with a bipartisan 56-8 vote. Later in the session, the Senate Judiciary Committee voted to prevent the bill from ever coming to the Senate floor for a full vote.

Senator Majority Leader Michael Sanchez is not only a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, his own brother lobbied against the bill on behalf of the taxi cab companies— who strongly opposed expanding ride-sharing programs like Uber and Lyft.

“Keeping and producing more decent-paying jobs is an important issue to many people, yet we saw political tactics in the New Mexico State Senate block real progress on this issue,” Garrett concluded.

Information for further background:

Former House Speaker Raymond Sanchez Lobbied Against The Legislation. His Brother Is Current Senate Majority Leader Michael Sanchez. “Others opposed to the legislation: David Jaramillo, lobbyist for the New Mexico Trial Lawyers Association, and lobbyist and former House Speaker Raymond Sanchez on behalf of cab companies. Sanchez is a brother of Senate Majority Leader Michael Sanchez, D-Belen, also a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee.” (Thomas Cole, “Taxis Score Win Over Uber, Lyft,” Albuquerque Journal, 3/30/15)

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