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Bill to ban sex offenders from ride-sharing jobs likely to pass

An Uber ride at LaGuardia Airport on March

An Uber ride at LaGuardia Airport on March 15, 2017. Credit: AP / Seth Wenig

ALBANY — After a last-minute amendment, key state legislators said Monday a bill to block any registered sex offender from working for ride-hailing services such as Lyft and Uber likely would win approval.

“I think it’s a go,” said Assemb. Joseph Lentol (D-Brooklyn), head of the Assembly Codes Committee, which vets criminal-justice measures.

At issue is a bill sponsored by Lentol, Assemb. Dean Murray (R-East Patchogue) and Sen. Tom Croci (R-Sayville) that would prohibit any convicted sex offender from working for a ride-hailing company in New York.

They said a law adopted in April to authorize ride-hailing throughout the state currently allows “level 1” offenders, who pose the lowest public threat, to drive. That’s because the law only prohibits those on the national sex-offender registry; Level 1 offenders in New York aren’t part of the national registry.

“We are completely closing the loophole — so it’s a big win,” Murray said.

The amendment would give the state Department of Criminal Justice Services four days to determine whether an applicant is listed as a sex offender rather than 48 hours.

The administration of Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo requested the extra time to give the agency a bit more cushion, Murray and Lentol said.

They said they expect the new version of the bill to be approved by Wednesday, the final scheduled day of the 2017 regular legislative session.

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