March 20th CVTA COVID-19 Update

March 20, 2020

We hope you are staying safe and healthy. Below are updates that have occurred over the past 24-hours.

1. More COVID-19 Relief Legislation

In the Senate, Sen. Mitch McConnel and others introduce a Phase-Three Proposal, named the “Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act’’ or ‘‘CARES Act.” Of importance to members are the creation of a Small Business Interruption Loan Program and a ‘Statewide Rapid Response’ funding program that would permit WIOA funds to be spent in communities hard hit by the COVID-19 outbreak.

The Small Business Program would provide funds for “payroll support, including paid sick, medical, or family leave, and costs related to the continuation of group health care benefits during those periods of leave; employee salaries; mortgage payments; rental or lease agreements; utilities; any other debt obligations that were incurred before the covered period.”

The WIOA Rapid Response program would be released “within 30 days to local boards most impacted by the coronavirus at the determination of the Governor for rapid response activities related to responding to the COVID-19 national emergency.”

2. DHS Guidance Lists Training Schools as Critical Infrastructure, but are CDL Training Schools an “Essential Services”?

Many Governors have issued emergency declarations or executive orders restricting non-essential businesses to close. However, whether a CDL training school falls under a particular Governor’s executive order or declaration needs to be examined in a particular order. The United States Department of Homeland Security releases guidance on critical infrastructure roles and has indicated that “workers who support necessary credentialing, vetting and licensing operations for transportation workers,” and “employees supporting or enabling transportation functions” are considered essential functions. Click here to view.

Since yesterday, two states (Texas and Mississippi) have both reopened previously closed DMV locations for CLP and CDL testing. We believe that others will go the same way if we can continue turning the tide by keeping up great grassroots efforts. However, if your Governor has issued such a declaration or executive order, we highly recommend that you appeal to your Governor on the basis that 1) DHS considers us an essential function and 2) we are essential to keep the supply chain moving.

We strongly recommend you send the following email to:

Your Governor’s Officehttps://bit.ly/3dexPsa
Your State Legislatorshttps://openstates.org/find_your_legislator/
Your Federal Legislatorshttps://www.house.gov/representatives/find-your-representative
Your State Trucking Associationhttps://www.ttnews.com/government-industry-resources

Click here for the email template.

3. State DMV Status

Here is a current list of DMV status by state:
Open: 17
Closed: 16
Limited: 16

Click here is a current list of DMV Statuses as of Friday, March 20, 2020.

4. Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration is Stepping Up

CVTA is aware that FMCSA Acting Administrator Mullen spoke to the National Governors’ Association and urged all state governments to take decisive action to keep DMVs and rest areas open, as they are critical to the national distribution chain. In a conference call between the U.S. Dept. of Transportation and all 50 state governors, Mullen articulated the critical nature of trucking in the crisis response. Mullen informed governors that the state commercial motor vehicle agencies should remain open for all commercial driver license purposes.

One very positive immediate result was that Texas agreed to reopen DMVs for CDL purposes. Since then we have heard that Mississippi has also taken steps to reopen DMVs for commercial licensing purposes. Additionally, all governors agreed to assist and to leave rest areas open, at least those stops situated along major interstate highways. In particular, PennDOT agreed on reopening rest-areas they had previously closed.