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Truck driver incentives aim to help address supply chain issues

Mid distance view of diverse cargo handlers and supervisors approaching camera in reflective vests and hardhats amidst stacks of cargo containers.

Everybody’s blaming supply chain issues for empty grocery shelves and delayed packages but what is the solution to the problem? A Virginia congresswoman is co-sponsoring a new bipartisan bill in the House looking to tackle one of those supply chain issues: The number of truck drivers on the road.

 

Congresswoman Abigail Spanberger’s bill encourages more people to enter the industry and keep existing drivers on the job. According to the American Trucking Associations, there is a shortage of about 80,000 truck drivers while other sources have that number even higher.

 

“That impacts us here in Virginia, it impacts us across the country, and has had a major impact on supply chains, and frankly, on inflation,” Spanberger told WTOP which covers the Washington, D.C., area.

 

The bill, called “Strengthening Supply Chains Through Truck Driver Incentives Act,” proposes refundable tax credits of up to $10,000 to new truck drivers or people enrolled in a registered trucking apprenticeship for two years.

 

In addition, it would create a $7,500 refundable tax credit for truck drivers holding a valid Class A CDL who drive at least 1,900 hours in the year. It would also last two years.

 

“The bill is bipartisan. I worked with Rep. Mike Gallagher, a Republican from Wisconsin on this,” said Spanberger said to WTOP. “It’s a really pretty common-sense effort to get at a problem that’s impacting the nation.”

 

With the supply chain and driver shortage on everyone’s mind, anything that can help get more truck drivers on the road is helpful. Notably in Virginia, a partnership between The Virginia Ready Initiative and the Virginia Trucking Association offered $1,000 to any Virginian who completed a truck driver training program at a Virginia community college and passed a CDL test.

 

The “Strengthening Supply Chains Through Truck Driver Incentives Act” was introduced late last month and referred to the House’s Ways and Means Committee.

 

The American Trucking Associations, the American Loggers Council, the Virginia Trucking Association, the Virginia Farm Bureau, Virginia Agribusiness Council, the Virginia Loggers Association have all supported the bill.