Today, the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation held a mark-up on S. 2016, the Surface Transportation Investment Act. The Agricultural Retailers Association has been working closely with Senator Moran, R-Kan., Senator Thune, R-S.D., and allies on Capitol Hill to encourage reform to the Farm-Related Restricted Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) program, more commonly referred to as the Seasonal Ag CDL program ahead of this mark-up. Senior Vice President of Public Policy and Counsel Richard Gupton issued the following statement:
“The Seasonal Ag CDL program is critical to ensure ag retailers are able to provide the level of service its farmer customers require at peak times in the growing and harvest season. We are encouraged by the language included in today’s mark-up that would allow Farm-Related Restricted CDLs to restart at the beginning of each calendar year, ensuring days from the previous season are not carried over.
“While not included today, ARA will continue to support an amendment to expand the number of days from 180 to 270 to account for extended seasons which can fluctuate from year to year due to climate change as well as more diversified crop production.
“ARA is thankful for its coalition partners’ support on this critical issue.
“ARA applauds the leadership by Sens. Moran and Thune, and we look forward to working together to ensure the final bill language is supportive of the ag retailer and the industry they support.
“ARA will continue to work on the other recommendations in the Senate and the U.S. House of Representatives related to adding Class A motor vehicles to the program, and allowing online renewals (see coalition letter linked below).”
Click here to read a recent letter of support from ARA.
Click here to read the coalition letter.