Bill supporting 'troops and trucks' moves through Senate

By CMTA Staff

Capitol Update, Aug. 3, 2012 Share this on FacebookTweet thisEmail this to a friend

In an effort to pair skilled experience with need, Assemblymember Bob Blumenfield (D-Los Angeles) has introduced a bill to create immediate employment opportunities in the commercial truck driving industry for qualified military veterans.

AB 2659, a recent gut and amend, would allow military personnel experienced in driving commercial motor vehicles in the military, and who can meet specified federal guidelines pertaining to that experience, to forgo the skills test requirement when seeking a civilian commercial driver’s license (CDL) with the state Department of Motor Vehicles. Recent regulatory changes at the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) have authorized states to waive this skills test if the applicant has at least two years military commercial driving experience immediately prior to their service discharge, applies for the waiver within 90 days of discharge and seeks a commercial license commensurate with their prior military commercial driving experience.

Fifteen states, including New York, Florida, Missouri, Pennsylvania and Virginia have adopted the FMCSA guidelines and waived the CDL skills test.

With the growing shortage of truck drivers in California and the rising unemployment rate among returning veterans, AB 2659 is a common sense approach that allows for the utilization of transferrable skills in a way that maintains highway safety quality and benefits the State’s economy.  It is also beneficial to California manufacturers who depend on a reliable trucking industry to transport goods to consumers, which is why CMTA is proud to support this legislation.

AB 2659 passed out of the Senate Transportation and Housing Committee on a unanimous eight to zero vote and will be heard next in the Senate Appropriations Committee on August 6th.

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