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Ridesharing approval on the horizon?

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Posted at 7:08 PM, Mar 30, 2017
and last updated 2017-03-30 20:52:29-04

Following months of negotiations significant progress has been made on legislation that would allow ridesharing services like Uber and Lyft to operate in Western New York. A deal may be on the horizon.

"I think we are close" New York State Senator Chris Jacobs told 7 Eyewitness News on Thursday evening. "It will definitely be included in the budget. The bigger issue is if we can get a budget passed."

Lawmakers have into midnight on Friday to approve the state budget. 

"We have come a long way from two weeks ago. There seems to be agreement by the three major components", said Jacobs. "I think the message has been heard from places like Buffalo that this is not acceptable anymore for New York City to have ridesharing but not anyone else in the state."

Assemblyman Michael Kearns says once the budget passes a ridesharing bill would take 90 days until it would go into effect. He says ridesharing would be regulated by the state DMV and not under local control. 

Lawmakers have made progress on insurance limits for ridesharing companies but how sales tax would work on individual rides and where that money would go remained questions on Thursday night.