Walz vetoes rideshare bill, signs executive order after Uber threatens to end service in Greater Minnesota

(KSTP) – UPDATE: Gov. Tim Walz has vetoed a bill that would’ve required minimum compensation rates, the ability to be reinstated after deactivation and more legal rights for rideshare drivers.

Late Thursday afternoon, Gov. Tim Walz announced he’s vetoed the bill, which was passed on the final weekend of the legislative session.

The governor also signed an executive order that calls for a working group of drivers, riders, rideshare companies and other stakeholders to study the issue and provide recommendations for a rideshare bill next year.

“Rideshare drivers deserve fair wages and safe working conditions. I am committed to finding solutions that balance the interests of all parties, including drivers and riders,” Walz said in a statement. “This is not the right bill to achieve these goals. I have spent my career fighting for workers, and I will continue to work with drivers, riders, and rideshare companies to address the concerns that this bill sought to address.”

Additionally, the governor’s order will require the Minnesota Department of Labor and Industry to study data regarding the working conditions of rideshare drivers in the state and how potential changes to the law could impact access and cost for riders.

(KSTP) – A popular rideshare service has increased its pressure on Gov. Tim Walz to not sign one of the final bills passed in the legislative session.

Thursday, Uber said that it will stop operating entirely outside of the Twin Cities metro area starting on Aug. 1 if Walz signs the rideshare driver bill that was approved by the Legislature on Sunday.

Before it was officially approved by lawmakers, Uber urged its followers to tell lawmakers to oppose the bill, which sets minimum compensation rates, the ability to be reinstated after deactivation and more legal rights for drivers.

Now, the company says it will pull its service from Greater Minnesota if Walz signs the bill into law, adding that it will also only offer premium service in the metro “to match the premium prices required by the bill.”

“Following several months of unanswered requests to work with legislators on comprehensive legislation that provides flexibility and benefits to drivers without compromising service for riders, we are left with a bill that will make it impossible to continue serving most areas of the state. If the bill is signed into law, beginning August 1, Uber will stop operating our rides service outside of the Minneapolis-St. Paul metro area,” Freddi Goldstein, a spokesperson for Uber, said in a statement to 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS on Thursday.

The bill was celebrated by rideshare drivers when it passed the Legislature, and some riders have also expressed their support for the drivers. However, others worry about the lack of service if Uber follows through with its threat, which would also eliminate jobs for some drivers.

The company says the bill would require drivers in Minneapolis to be paid more per mile than anywhere else in the country and would reduce safety for riders by giving drivers the chance to challenge deactivation.

Thursday afternoon, Uber and Lyft drivers were seen at the Minnesota Capitol protesting outside Walz’s office.

The governor has been noncommittal, saying he’s still considering everything before choosing to sign or veto the bill.