Haley last stop for Uber bill

A bill that would regulate Uber and other app-based transportation providers has one more step to go before it becomes law in South Carolina: a signature from Gov. Nikki Haley.

The Senate passed the proposed legislation Thursday, on the final day of the General Assembly’s special session. The House passed the bill Wednesday.

“It will become law before this time next week,” said Sen. Larry Grooms, R-Charleston, chairman of the Senate Transportation Committee.

Haley has said in the past that she supports Uber. A spokeswoman for her office did not respond to an email Thursday seeking comment on whether she would sign the bill.

Grooms predicted the governor would hold a signing ceremony. But he said the Emanuel AME Church shooting that killed nine people in Charleston on Wednesday night could push that farther out.

The bill will regulate various aspects of “transportation network companies” like Uber and their drivers, such as insurance coverage. For example, if it becomes law, background checks will be required.

The legislation also provides revenue to cities and counties. A municipality could collect a percentage of the fare depending on where a passenger is picked up.

Grooms called the bill “contentious” and said it was no easy feat to get it passed.

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“It was a lot of work by a lot of folks,” Grooms said.

If Haley signs the bill, the statewide law will override a city of Charleston ordinance aimed at regulating ride-hailing companies. San Francisco-based Uber began operating in parts of South Carolina about a year ago.

Reach Allison Prang at 937-5705.