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trucking priorities

2024 MTA Legislative Priorities

Support Supply Chain Resiliency Bill (HF4608/SF4472)

Minnesota’s supply chain is dependent on trucking.  This bill addresses three key challenges facing the supply chain: truck driver and technician training, CDL testing and truck parking.

  • Increase Funding for Truck Driver and Technician Training: This provision establishes a grant program to cover the costs of driver and technician tuition AND living expenses while being trained and increase state appropriation for equipment investments for driver and technician programs.
     

  • Improve CDL Testing Efficiency: Commercial Driver’s License skills testing capacity by state driver examination stations and third-party testers is severely constrained.  Some students completing federally mandated driver training programs are waiting over two months to secure a testing slot.  This provision allows training schools to reserve CDL testing slots and allows current third-party examiners to test students outside of their program.
     

  • Increase Funding for Truck Parking:  A 2019 MnDOT Truck Parking Study found the need for targeted expansion of truck parking at Minnesota trunk highway public rest areas. Lack of adequate parking increases driver fatigue and reduces highway safety.  This provision appropriates funds or bond to increase truck parking on major Minnesota truck routes.

 

Maintain the Right to Choose the Best Truck Energy Source

Minnesota’s Clean Transportation Standard Working Group report recommends developing a low carbon fuel standard (LCFS) for ALL Minnesota vehicles.  This recommendation functionally moves Minnesota toward full vehicle electrification by 2050.  The report fails to address the unique operational challenges faced by the local, regional, and long-haul trucking sectors.  The report also fails to quantify the significant pass-through costs that will be experienced by consumers if a LCFS is adopted, estimated to be at least $.50 per gallon of fuel at the onset of such a standard. 

Legislative Action: Reject an LCFS standard and instead adopt fuel neutral policies that foster true market-based solutions.

 

 

Align Earned Safe and Sick With Fair Labor Standards Act Requirements for Truck Drivers

Minnesota Statutes 177.23, Subd. 7 (16) excludes from the definition of an employee for purposes of the Minnesota Fair Labor Standards Act "any individual in a position for which the United States Department of Transportation has power to establish qualifications and maximum hours of service under United States Code, title 49, section 31502."  This definition necessarily excludes most truck drivers. Additionally, trucking companies often pay their drivers based upon miles driven or based upon a percentage of the revenue for the load.  How much compensation the driver earns often fluctuates from week to week based upon their destinations and/or the load they are carrying.  The requirement to track and report hours under the Minnesota Earned Safe and Sick Time Statute runs counter to the exemption noted above.  

Legislative Action: Exempt individuals covered under MS 117.24, Subd. 7 (16) from the hourly reporting requirements under the Minnesota Earned Safe and Sick Statute.

 

Apply No-fault Insurance Model to BOTH Passenger Cars and Commercial Trucks

Minnesota’s No-Fault system is a fair process requiring insurance carriers to resolve their own clients’ claims. It relieves our burdened court system from needless fights between insurance companies. However, operators of commercial motor vehicles weighing over 5,500 pounds in Minnesota are specifically excluded from the smooth, simple no-fault framework. As a result, they are left to fight with their own insurance company and, maybe, the other party and their insurance company. The fight frequently results in needless court cases.  No other state with no-fault laws abandons commercial motor vehicles on the island as Minnesota does.

 

Legislative Action: Eliminate the commercial motor vehicle exception in Minnesota Statute Section 65B.53.

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