The draft for the next House of Representatives Transportation, Housing and Urban Development appropriations bill includes several riders related to the trucking industry, for which some have been strongly advocated.
One is a measure that would prevent individual states from enacting their own meal and rest break rules for CDL drivers. Lobbyists for the industry have advocated for this in order to stop what they consider “patchwork” rules on the issue that vary from state to state.
The Supreme Court in May 2015 upheld a California statute requiring a paid 10-minute rest break every four hours and a paid 30-minute meal period every five hours for truck drivers. This has prompted advocates to ask Congress to address the issue so that interstate truckers don’t have to comply or keep track of different state meal and rest break laws.
The THUD bill also provides an exemption for certain livestock transporters from complying with the electronic logging device rule, which become effective in December.
Another key rider prevents the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration from advancing a safety-fitness determination rule-making until the Department of Transportation Inspector General has issued certain certifications required under the FAST Act.
Back in early 2016 the FMCSA issued its SFD notice of proposed rule-making, asking for comments on the potential rule. Then in early 2017 they said they planned to issue a supplemental notice of proposed rule-making. Soon after, they withdrew both the NPR and SNPR, saying they would wait for an upcoming study mandated by the FAST Act before taking any further action.
The report was recently released and the FMCSA has 120 days to submit an action plan. The DOT’s Office of Inspector General then has 120 days after that to report to Congress on how well the plan addresses the recommendations set forth in the report.