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The Statehouse News Bureau provides educational, comprehensive coverage of legislation, elections, issues and other activities surrounding the Statehouse to Ohio's public radio and television stations.

Bills Backed By Industry Seek To Put The Brakes On Truck Driver Shortage In Ohio

Sen. Cliff Hite (R-Findlay), Rep. Robert Sprague (R-Findlay), Rep. Niraj Antani (R-Miamisburg) and Rep. Ryan Smith (R-Bidwell) are among the backers of these bills.

The trucking industry says there’s been a driver shortage for two decades – and that there could be 175,000 unfilled trucker jobs in the next seven years.  A bipartisan group of lawmakers have proposed a package of bills that seeks to put the brakes on that.One bill would create a $5 million scholarship fund for students to attend trucking schools. Another would streamline the conversion from military to commercial drivers licenses. A third would change insurance rules to allow more 18-24 year olds to become drivers. And the fourth would start a $3 million tax credit program for job training at trucking companies. Republican Sen. Cliff Hite of Findlay is among the sponsors.“This is a huge opportunity for the state of Ohio. We have the job openings, 8-9 thousand job openings.”The Republican and Democratic sponsors say in spite of the advances in logistics technology, there is still a need for drivers to move things to their final destinations. Copyright 2017 The Statehouse News Bureau. To see more, visit The Statehouse News Bureau.