ABMA Meets with Legislators on Priority Issues

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ABMA met with the office of Senator Tim Scott (R-SC) to discuss the Senator’s interest in leading the Employer-Directed Skills Act in the upper chamber. The legislation is one of ABMA’s legislative priorities as it would leverage private sector investment in workforce development (WFD) and align efforts to reskill the workforce to better match the specific needs of employers. The bill is already pending in the House, but its prospects for ultimately becoming enacted are improved considerably if there is companion legislation in the Senate that has bipartisan support.

DOT Awards Funding to Community Colleges to Prepare Veterans for Jobs in Trucking

FMCSA

The DOT’s Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has awarded $3.1 million to community colleges and training institutes through grants that will assist current and former members of the Armed Forces who want to pursue careers in trucking to get commercial driver’s licenses (CDLs) and the training they need to enter the profession.

Applications Open for Safe Driver Apprenticeship Pilot Program

FMCSA

Applications are now open for the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s (FMCSA) Safe Driver Apprenticeship Pilot Program. The Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA), also known as the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL), requires the FMCSA to establish an apprenticeship pilot program that would allow drivers between the ages of 18-20 with an intrastate commercial driver’s license (CDL) to operate interstate commerce under very specific conditions.

Possible Income Tax Credit for Commercial Truck Drivers?

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In an effort to address the truck driver shortage, U.S. Representatives Abigail Spanberger (D-VA) and Mike Gallagher (R-WI) introduced bipartisan legislation that would establish a refundable income tax credit for qualified commercial truck drivers. The bill, titled the Strengthening Supply Chains Through Truck Driver Incentives Act (H.R. 7348), authorizes a tax incentive to attract and retain new drivers. Specifically, the measure would create a two-year refundable tax credit of up to $7,500 for truck drivers holding a valid Class A commercial driver’s license who drive at least 1,900 hours in the year.

New CDL Training Standards

DOT

According to the  Department of Transportation’s (DOT) Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), starting on Monday, February 7th, any driver that must undergo Entry-Level Driver Training (EDTL) must complete required training from a registered provider.

Breaking Up the BBB

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On Wednesday, President Biden acknowledged that his signature $1.75 trillion tax and social spending plan may need to be broken up in order to move forward in the U.S. Senate. In recent weeks, Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV) has signaled that he is supportive of the provisions in the package related to climate change and greenhouse gas mitigation and it appears that there is interest, at least in the Administration, in cleaving this piece of the Build Back Better Act and moving it as a standalone measure. It remains unclear at this point what specific provisions would be included in such a bill, but the House-passed BBB contained a number of positive forestry provisions and considerable funding for deploying innovative wood products in construction projects.

Build Back Better Struggles

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Congress confronted and addressed two of their outstanding deliverables for December, having passed a Continuing Resolution (CR) to keep the federal government running past December 3 when funding was slated to expire. The CR sent to the President on December 3, funds federal government operations through February 18. The other was the debt ceiling. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen had predicted that the U.S. would exhaust its borrowing authority on December 15.

FMCSA Updates Hours-of-Service Waiver for Trucking

Trucks

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) announced an extension of the current exemptions which provide regulatory relief for commercial motor vehicle operations providing direct assistance in support of emergency relief efforts related to COVID-19.