The people working in our federal government are fully aware of supply chain issues that have been plaguing the nation for roughly a year now, and understand the key to greasing the wheels of the economy involves the United States trucker. Two Representatives, Dusty Johnson of South Dakota and Jim Costa of California, have reached across the aisle to craft a bill that may just be what the doctor ordered.
The bipartisan bill is currently called the Safer Highways and Increased Performance for Interstate Trucking (SHIP IT) ACT. The bill calls for numerous incentives and other things to make trucking life easier, both to recruit truckers into the workforce and to keep them from switching professions.
Here are just a few of the sections in the Bill:
- A $7,500 tax credit to drivers working at least 1,900 hours in a year and who make below a certain income depending on their household status.
- For new drivers, this tax credit would be increased to $10,000.
- Both numbers are set to be inflation-adjusted each tax year.
- Through the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act, enables grants for tuition and fees in regards to attending truck-driving school provided by an approved school.
- Provides grants to states and private organizations to give them the means to build more parking spaces for trucks, combating the parking problem.
The Bill has been met with praise and detraction by industry stakeholders, including the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association (OOIDA). Lewie Pugh, Executive Vice President of the OOIDA, said in a statement that it is a good first step but does not go far enough.
“We appreciate Rep. Johnson’s longtime support of expanding truck parking capacity, and are glad that he and Rep. Costa recognize the importance of addressing the truck parking shortage to help keep drivers safe and improve supply chain performance. However, the bill misses the mark by failing to fix the underlying causes of the driver retention problem in trucking, including a lack of adequate compensation from carriers and a failure of shippers and carriers to value any of a trucker’s time. We look forward to working with Reps. Johnson and Costa to advance policies that support truckers and ultimately improve the movement of goods throughout the supply chain, instead of policies that subsidize big businesses like shippers and carriers and continue churning drivers in and out of trucking.”
This is another trucking Bill we hope to see pass both halls of Congress and get signed by the president. The extra incentives and making the job of trucking easier will pave the way to more truckers on the road and a stronger economy.
The Bill can be read in its entirety on the relevant webpage. Clocking in at 28 pages long, it is shorter than most but still takes a bit to read. Reading it in full or not is up to you.
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