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DFL lawmakers slam Governor Tim Walz for vetoing ride-sharing bill

Democratic lawmakers are criticizing Gov. Tim Walz for vetoing a bill that would have given pay rises and job protections to rideshare drivers.

Walz issued his first-ever veto on the bill on Thursday and said he would set up a commission to study drivers’ wages and working conditions, hoping it would recommend similar legislation for next year. . The governor said in a statement that rideshare drivers “deserve fair wages and safe working conditions,” but “this is the wrong bill to achieve those goals.”

Members of the Legislature’s Peoples of Color and Indigenous Peoples Caucus denounced the governor’s veto in a statement Thursday.

“The governor’s veto allows for further exploitation of these hardworking Minnesota workers,” the caucus said. “By vetoing the bill, Governor Walz discredited the amount of work lawmakers, community leaders and advocates have put into ensuring the bill reflects the needs of workers and the concerns of the parties. stakeholders.”

Walz announced his veto hours after Uber said it would pull out of all Minnesota markets except the Twin Cities metro area if the bill is signed into law.

The vetoed bill would have required drivers to be paid $1.45 per mile and 34 cents per minute. Uber and Lyft said they would have to raise ride prices by 50% if the bill becomes law.

Senator Omar Fateh, the Minneapolis Democrat who sponsored the bill, tweeted Thursday that the governor’s veto was an example of “the power corporations wield over our government despite the [DFL] trifecta.”

“Although Uber and Lyft have had access to the administration and elected officials, I want to clarify that not once has the administration reached out to drivers,” Fateh said. “The fight is not over, and I promise you I will not back down. This will be my top priority for the next session.”

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