March 17, 2020
We hope that you are doing as well as possible during these trying times. We wanted to write to you to inform you of what CVTA is doing on behalf of members on the federal and state levels. CVTA has drafted a generic communication that we urge all CVTA members to send to their Governor in the event the state has closed CDL schools, DMVs, or is considering taking action to close CDL schools.
Federal Issues & Actions
This morning, I sent the following letter to FMCSA Acting-Administrator Jim Mullen. Administrator Mullen received our letter today and replied immediately that the agency would be working to assist with our requested items. The FMCSA has been helpful in the past with quick turnarounds for state-specific licensure issues during other smaller events and we are hopeful for their assistance.
State Issues & Actions
We are aware that numerous states are closing CDL schools, or severely limiting access to DMVs. Others are operating under normal conditions, but this may soon change. CMV drivers play a critical role in the nation’s disaster assistance and must be permitted to continue training and licensing as is practical with safety protocols in place. As such, CVTA has drafted a generic letter and ask CVTA members to fill in your specific situation within your state and send this to your governor. To find the Governor’s address and staff see below:
How to contact your Governor:
- Look up your state here
- Call the main number
- Ask for the person who the Governor’s Transportation policy staffer or handles transportation issues and ask who handles Higher Education. This person should be on his personal staff, (not in a Department or agency). Ask for their email addresses and to be contacted by the staffer. If the switchboard does not give you a specific person, ask for the Governor’s Chief of Staff. Leave a message if the person is not there.
Congressional Issues & Actions
Over the weekend the House passed a relief bill that would pay for food for children whose schools are closed during the pandemic and cover free coronavirus testing for all Americans. It would also create 14 days of paid sick leave for workers and three months of paid emergency leave for workers. Businesses would be compensated for the leave through tax credits. On Monday, March 16, the Senate took up the bill but there was immediate concern that many of the finer details needed to be properly ironed out. In particular, some of the provisions pertaining to exempting small business concerns were in play, with concerns as to how small businesses would weather such leave policies.
Importantly, the Senate is considering additional stimulus to this bill of $1 Trillion. There are also reports that additional stimulus could follow also that could include infrastructure and workforce funding. CVTA is in close contact with the congressional staff and recommending a one-time $2.994 Billion WIOA funding increase, in addition to other measures.