STATE ISSUES FOR CONSIDERATION IN THE 2020 REGULAR LEGISLATIVE SESSION
Will create a Transportation Board made up of 9 members appointed by the Governor, 6 from each congressional district and 3 at large members. Several organizations will be able to nominate 1 of 3 possible candidates for each position. At this time no one from the trucking industry is represented by these organizations. The trucking Industry pays for 42% of the road fund and we would respectfully ask to have a voice in nominating representatives to the Kentucky Transportation Board. Trucking companies in Kentucky are represented by the Kentucky Trucking Association.
We supported HB 517 and 609 in the previous two sessions. Why do we support? The roadway is our workplace and poor infrastructure hurts the industry due to congestion cost which is wasted dollars. Nationally, congestion costs the industry 74.5 billion. Additionally, poor road conditions can increase vehicle maintenance cost. We believe tolling is an inefficient method to pay for infrastructure because of the administrative cost to collect the revenue, but we will not oppose tolling on new capacity. We would ask for a discount for local companies. Lack of a local discount has been costly to trucking companies in the Greater Louisville area and the tolling revenue has exceeded expectations. We strongly oppose tolling on existing highways and interstates. We oppose asset recycling where public highways are leased/sold to the highest bidder and then tolled.
We support the elimination of the $34 apportion certificate fee and the requirement to make a trip to the local county clerk’s office before we can complete our registration on-line with the Transportation Cabinet. We won’t object to the county clerks receiving a fee but, please add this to the registration fee to eliminate the wasted time in sending an employee to the county clerk’s office to simply pay a fee for no benefit. Several large trucking companies do not register their vehicles in Kentucky because of this fee and because of the process involved in paying it.
We support the effort to facilitate the pairing of job seekers with enhanced career opportunities in the trucking industry that offers a median income of $45,500 along with health and retirement benefits. We need drivers and diesel technicians as the baby boomers continue to retire. The average truck driver age is 49. Nationally, we are 60,000 drivers short. We support the Be Pro Be Proud initiative that the Kentucky Association of Manufactures will present in 2020. This is a proven method to expose middle and high school students to the career opportunities in advanced manufacturing and trucking. Additionally, we support efforts to change the minimum age requirement for an interstate driver from 21 to 18 and adding more women and military veterans to the industry.
RUSH HOUR RESTRICTION FOR WEIGHT ONLY:
This can be solved by administrative regulation if the Transportation Cabinet will move forward. As of November 2019, the Cabinet does not oppose the removal of this restriction. Due to retirements in the Office of Legal Services, administrative regulations are moving very slow. Currently, a vehicle that is permitted for overweight only can not travel between the hours of 7 a.m. and 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. until 6 p.m. in Louisville, Lexington, and Northern Kentucky. This restriction impedes the movement of Kentucky manufactured goods and puts our companies at a competitive disadvantage as surrounding states do not restrict these loads from movement during peak traffic times.