State Leaders Grapple with Internet-Fueled Economic Changes

massachusetts-state-house-300x198BOSTON (AP) — Political leaders seem split on how to address the internet-fueled changes roiling the Massachusetts economy.

At the Statehouse, lawmakers have largely embraced major online players. They’ve passed ride-booking regulations, but agreed not to require drivers for Uber and Lyft to be fingerprinted. They abandoned a proposal that would have applied the state’s hotel and motel taxes to online lodging services such as Airbnb.

And new legislation guarantees the biggest of online sellers — Amazon — won’t have to pay workers at a planned distribution center in Fall River overtime on Sundays.

Not everyone is as optimistic.

Democratic Sen. Elizabeth Warren has warned about the downside of the so-called “gig economy” for workers denied access to traditional employment benefits like paid vacation, health coverage, workers compensation and retirement plans.

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