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Uber, Stay Gold Manager Take City Ballot to Court

Proposal language in dispute

The start of the #ridesharingworks press conference at @mohawkaustin

A photo posted by Erica Shamaly (@mariam_remli) on

With assistance from Uber, Stay Gold night club music manager and talent buyer Samantha Phelps asked the Texas Supreme Court Wednesday to make the Austin CIty Council rewrite the ballot language for a citywide vote in May, the Austin American-Statesman reported Thursday.

The upcoming local ballot initiative was slated after political action committee Ridesharing Works for Austin, a group largely funded by Uber and Lyft, led a successful petition drive to put replacing the city's existing ride-hailing ordinance to a vote.

Ridesharing Works' campaign objects to provisions of the existing law, which council passed in December 2015, that require drivers be fingerprinted for use in background checks and vehicles to display identifying company markers, prohibit pickup or dropoff in travel lanes, and allow the city to collect up to two percent of fees from ride-hailing companies.

According to the Statesman, the essence of Phelps' argument is that the language of the proposal soon to be before voters emphasizes what is being taken away (regulations, city fee money), and not what ride-hailing companies will continue to contribute.

Uber and Phelps hope the court will make a decision on the matter before Monday, when the Travis County Clerk's office hopes to finalize the ballot language, the newspaper added.