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Minneapolis City Council president celebrates state legislature's rideshare deal

Minneapolis City Council head celebrates state's rideshare deal
Minneapolis City Council head celebrates state's rideshare deal 02:19

MINNEAPOLIS — The Minnesota Legislature reached a deal Saturday that looks like it will keep Uber and Lyft in Minnesota.

The 11th hour deal was brokered by state legislators and the governor. In a very rare move, the law would preempt the ordinance passed by the Minneapolis City Council. 

Rideshare drivers have lobbied for two years for a wage hike and better insurance and benefits. The deal would put in a new rate for drivers of $1.28 per mile and 31 cents per minute. That's 12 cents a mile and 20 cents per minute less than the Minneapolis city ordinance.

But DFL House Majority Leader Jamie Long says this still amounts to a 20% increase in driver pay.

Lawmakers also say it would include the strongest insurance provisions for rideshare drivers in the entire country. The proposal would make Minnesota one of the few states that regulate rideshare companies, which are known as Transportation Network Companies (TNCs). 

Despite their proposal getting preempted, the Minneapolis City Council's progressive members are taking credit for the breakthrough. Council President Elliott Payne was a guest on WCCO Sunday Morning at 10:30 a.m. 

"This is good news. I mean, we fought long and hard to get to this point and those of us on City Council always were centering the drivers in this conversation," Payne said. "We heard a lot of noise from both Uber and Lyft around their objections to our approach, their objections to worker pay, but at the end of the day the drivers won."

"We applaud the tens of thousands of riders and drivers who sent close to 100,000 emails to legislators — your voices were heard," Uber's policy director Josh Gold said. "While the coming price increases may hurt riders and drivers alike, we will be able to continue to operate across the State under the compromise brokered by the Governor." 

The Minneapolis ordinance passed in March got severe pushback from Minneapolis residents and community leaders. Last month, 50 representatives from disability groups, restaurants and hotels appeared at a joint news conference pleading for a compromise that would keep Uber and Lyft here. 

WCCO has not yet heard back from Lyft.

You can watch WCCO Sunday Morning with Esme Murphy and Adam Del Rosso every Sunday at 6 a.m. and 10:30 a.m.

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