Excerpted from Melanie Westfall’s article in The Daily Texan.

Uber and Lyft returned to Austin on May 29 – the same day Gov. Greg Abbott signed into law a bill deregulating ride-hailing services.

Authored by state Rep. Chris Paddie, R-Marshall, HB 100 establishes a statewide framework for operating the companies, overturning local city ordinances such as Proposition 1 passed last May by the Austin City Council.

The Austin ordinance, which went into effect after a city-wide vote last May, required ride-hailing companies to fingerprint their drivers as an added safety precaution. After pumping almost $9 million into campaigning and having an unsuccessful outcome in the ballot vote, Uber and Lyft withdrew their services to the city, saying this requirement was a burden.

The new law still mandates that drivers undergo background checks and provide “all necessary information” to passengers, but they will not have to be fingerprinted.

While signing HB 100, Gov. Abbott called Austin’s ordinance “heavy-handed” and said it limits the free market.

For the full article, click here.