This week, the Senate passed what could be considered a common-sense law that expands veterans' access to a wider array of CDL training schools.
According to KTIC, the Veteran Improvement Commercial Driver License Act, spearheaded by U.S. Senator Deb Fischer (R-NE), passed the Senate with bipartisan support this week.
The legislation, which was co-led by U.S. Senator Alex Padilla (D-Calif.), ensures that veterans’ GI benefits can be utilized at new branches of commercial driving program (CDL) schools whose primary institutions have already received regulatory approval.
Previously, when trucking schools opened secondary training branches, U.S. veterans could not use their G.I. benefits for tuition, causing massive headaches for both veterans seeking the training and the trucking industry, which is critically short-staffed.
Laws already on the books prevented the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) and state regulators from approving new training branches for G.I. eligibility for a period of two years, severely hamstringing the industry, which is in dire need of new drivers.
In an attempt to alleviate a trucker shortage, the Senate Unanimously Approves Nebraska Senator Deb Fischer's Bipartisan Legislation to Expand Veteran Access to CDL Schools. https://t.co/4MkRLeZ4Sn
— Patrick Bonnett, PFA, CSA, CMFC (@patrickbonnett) November 7, 2023
Fischer released a statement upon the bill's passage this week.
"I’m glad to see our bipartisan legislation to support veterans pass the Senate with unanimous support. Trucking is a vital part of our economy, yet unnecessary red tape continues to prevent some veterans from utilizing their GI benefits in the industry.
She added, "I look forward to working with my colleagues in the House to get this legislation to the President’s desk."
As it should, the bill has strong support in the House of Representatives, where it's being led by Rep. Chuck Edwards (R-NC).
Ultimately, the bill will greatly expand access to veterans seeking CDL training across the country as major trucking outfits and schools launch new branches to accommodate the hopeful truck drivers.
Recently, the Senate unanimously passed my bill w/@SenAlexPadilla to expand vets' access to commercial driving program schools.
— Senator Deb Fischer (@SenatorFischer) November 6, 2023
The truck driver shortage is expected to worsen in coming years. Given its importance regarding America's supply chain, it's obviously crucial to give the industry all the help it can get.
Hopefully, the Senate can come together and do something for the American people that matters, like passing this bill.
It's important to share the news to spread the truth. Most people won't.