Regulations

Associations Ramp-Up Lobbying Initiatives

Posted on April 7, 2014 by Tom Halligan - Also by this author

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It seems like more associations are hiring professional lobbyists to fight for their interests at the local and state levels to ensure their concerns are being heard by policymakers and legislators who make rules that directly affect the ground transportation industry. In some cases, Uber and other disruptive personal transportation apps that have emerged are reasons to have a better seat at the political table. In other cases, lobbyists are charged with representing the industry on a variety of issues and concerns, and also to stay visible to politicians to make sure operators have a voice when an issue arises that may have a negative impact on operators in the local, state and national arenas.

Florida
Take for example, Florida. Last month the statewide Florida Limousine Association (FLA) spearheaded an effort to hire a lobbyist to fight a proposed State Senate bill that would place the regulation of limousine companies under state domain, and also allow Uber to operate on a statewide basis, thereby trumping local jurisdictions having sway over Uber and other personal transportation app companies.

FLA President Rick Versace (A1A Airport & Limousine Service), said that the FLA joined forces with the South Florida Limousine Association (SFLA), the West Florida Livery Association (WFLA), and the Greater Orlando Limousine Association (GOLA) to hire noted Florida “mega lobbyist” Ron Book to represent their concerns and issues in Tallahassee, the state capital.

Minnesota
Also last month, the Minnesota Chauffeured Transportation Association (MCTA) hired the law firm of Lockridge Grindal Nauen to represent the MCTA’s interest at the state level concerning the association’s legislative agenda containing specific bills and proposals that directly impact operators.

For example, the firm will tackle the state’s chauffeured transportation and limousine laws — unchanged for 25 years — in an effort to modernize regulations to conform with today’s industry needs. Also on the agenda is an initiative to protect the riding public by making sure regulations are in place to make sure all drivers have an accepted minimum amount of liability insurance required by the U.S. Department of Transportation.

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