Ohio bills aimed at addressing need for drivers

Ohio welcome you signFour bills are in the works in the Ohio legislature meant to bolster employment in the trucking industry in the state by making it easier for people to obtain commercial driver’s licenses.

According to the Dayton Business Journal, the bills would:

  • create scholarships and loan funds for students
  • provide tax credits to trucking companies that develop on-the-job training
  • make it easier for drivers between the ages of 21 and 24 to get insured
  • make it possible for those 18-20 years old to get insured
  • streamline the process for military veterans to obtain CDLs

The scholarship and tax credit bills have been introduced, but the other two bills have yet to be introduced.

According to bill sponsor Rep. Ryan Smith, the bill to create scholarships and loans for trucking school students would help up to 1,000 student drivers. As part of the proposed Commercial Truck Driver Student Aid Program, scholarships would pay approximately half the cost of CDL training, and the other half would be paid through a loan.

In total, the package of bills, if passed, is expected to increase employment in the trucking industry in Ohio by 8,000 people, according to Smith’s press release.

The other bill that has been introduced, which would offer tax credits to trucking companies, was introduced by Ohio Rep. Robert Sprague. He said fleets would be eligible for up to a 50 percent match of up to $50,000 in annual tax credits.