Uber, Lyft bill fixing New Mexico impasse heads to committee

FILE - In this March 12, 2014 file photo, Katie Baranyuk gets out of a car driven by Dara Jenkins, a driver for the ride-sharing service Lyft, after getting a ride to downtown Seattle. The Labor Department on Wednesday, July 15, 2015 issued new guidance intended to help companies answer whether a worker is an employee or a contractor. The issue has taken on greater urgency with the growth of sharing-economy firms such as Lyft, Uber and TaskRabbit, which increasingly rely on independent workers, often for short-term projects. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren, File)

SANTA FE (AP) – A bill aimed at welcoming and regulating ride-booking companies like Uber and Lyft is going to a key House panel.

The House Judiciary Committee is scheduled Thursday to debate a proposal that regulate the companies amid confusion in the state.

The legal status of the companies has been in limbo in the state since they began offering services in 2014. The companies say the state’s Motor Carrier Act doesn’t apply to them because they don’t operate as commercial taxi businesses.

Uber and Lyft offer an online service that allows people with cars to connect with people seeking rides.

Traditional taxi companies say ride-booking services still need to be regulated.

Rep. Monica Youngblood, an Albuquerque Republican, is sponsoring a bill that would allow the companies to operate legally in New Mexico.

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