You have reached your limit of free articles this month.

Enjoy unlimited access to myPalmBeachPost.com

Starting at just 99¢ for 8 weeks.

GREAT REASONS TO SUBSCRIBE TODAY!

  • IN-DEPTH REPORTING
  • INTERACTIVE STORYTELLING
  • NEW TOPICS & COVERAGE
  • ePAPER
X

You have read of premium articles.

Get unlimited access to all of our breaking news, in-depth coverage and bonus content- exclusively for subscribers. Starting at just 99¢ for 8 weeks

X

Welcome to myPalmBeachPost.com

This subscriber-only site gives you exclusive access to breaking news, in-depth coverage, exclusive interactives and bonus content.

You can read free articles of your choice a month that are only available on myPalmBeachPost.com.

breaking news

PBSO probes Lake Worth fight involving ‘Cash me Ousside’ teen

Uber calls ‘unfortunate’ bill’s change in driver background checks


The Florida House on Thursday adopted an amendment requiring what supporters see as more stringent background checks for drivers with ride services like Uber, a move a company spokeswoman called “unfortunate.”

The 65-47 vote on the House floor adds a new twist as the Senate approved a bill with key differences on insurance but not addressing background checks. To make new law, the chambers will have to work out their differences as the session approaches a scheduled close May 1.

The House amendment calls for “level 2” background checks involving fingerprints, a bit different from what Uber does now and what a temporary operating agreement in Palm Beach County allows.

Incidents involving Uber drivers — in Orlando and around the country — have spurred some calls for tougher background checks using fingerprints. But Uber officials dispute their process is less comprehensive or effective.

“It’s unfortunate that the House adopted an amendment requiring an inferior background check process that does less to protect consumer safety than the one Uber currently uses to screen potential driver-partners,” Uber spokesperson Kaitlin Durkosh said. “We are eager to engage with today’s amendment supporters and inform them of the stringent process we have in place to help ensure safety on the platform.”

Uber backers say it uses a nationally accredited third party to conduct background checks that include a review of a driver’s background against local, state and federal criminal records.

But there has a been a push for a different level of scrutiny in some industries such as those that involve care of children or, in the case of ride services, getting in a car with someone you don’t know.

“The trend in most states right now is over time to move people from name-based background to fingerpint-based background checks.” said Chris Brown, vice president of strategy and identity services at MorphoTrust USA in Massachusetts, a company that provides such checks at a cost of about $60 in Florida.

Any resolution between the chambers will have to deal with the issue of local control over issues besides insurance. The Senate plan leaves the door open for counties and cities to set their own standards on things like background checks. Palm Beach County officials are watching the issue but would not necessarily oppose the level of screening now in the House bill, said Todd Bonlarron, director of Palm Beach County legislative affairs.


Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Politics

What happened when factory jobs moved from Ohio to Mexico
What happened when factory jobs moved from Ohio to Mexico

Chris Wade reached into the darkness to silence his blaring alarm clock. It was 4:30 on a frigid winter morning in Warren, Ohio, and outside a fresh layer of snow blanketed the yard. Thank God, Wade thought to himself. He would be able to get out his plow and make some quick cash. Money never used to be a problem for Wade, 47, who owned a house with...
Reagan and Trump and the swift transformation of the GOP
Reagan and Trump and the swift transformation of the GOP

"We cannot escape our destiny, nor should we try to do so," Ronald Reagan told one of the first CPAC gatherings in January 1974. "The leadership of the free world was thrust upon us two centuries ago in that little hall of Philadelphia." Quoting Pope Pius XII after World War II, Reagan said, "Into the hands of America, God...
These angry voters are telling Republicans: Repeal health care law
These angry voters are telling Republicans: Repeal health care law

Congressional Republicans got an earful at rowdy town halls this past week. But many of the voters who say they got those very same lawmakers elected to office are delivering their own message: Ignore the rabble-rousers and fulfill your campaign promise to repeal the Affordable Care Act. "I know they're looking at those folks and worrying that...
In Bulgaria, a businessman who talks (and acts) like Trump
In Bulgaria, a businessman who talks (and acts) like Trump

Veselin Mareshki is a self-promoting tycoon who emblazons his last name on the hundreds of pharmacies he owns across Bulgaria. He’s also a blunt-talking anvil of a populist who preaches patriotism, strict immigration controls, friendlier relations with Moscow and, above all, the need to “sweep away the garbage” of a corrupt political...
Sure the media is biased. But the enemy? Not quite
Sure the media is biased. But the enemy? Not quite

Biased? Probably. Oppositional? Maybe. Essential? In theory. But the enemy? Not so much. President Donald Trump last week called the news media “the enemy of the American people.” But in interviews around the country this week, Americans of varying political affiliations, even those with serious misgivings about the media, largely allowed...
More Stories