Padilla, Fischer Introduce Bipartisan Legislation to Allow Veterans More Commercial Driver’s License School Options

Bill would ensure veterans can use their GI Bill benefits at accredited commercial driver’s license schools

WASHINGTON, D.C. — U.S. Senators Alex Padilla (D-Calif.) and Deb Fischer (R-Neb.) reintroduced bipartisan legislation to ensure veterans can utilize their GI benefits at new branches of commercial driver’s license (CDL) schools whose primary institutions have already received regulatory approval. Currently, if an approved trucking school opens a secondary facility in a new location, existing laws require that the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) and state regulators must deny the branch’s ability to receive GI benefits for two years.

“Our veterans put their lives on the line in service to our nation, and we have a responsibility to support them and their families as they reintegrate into civilian life,” said Senator Padilla. “This bill will expand veterans’ GI Benefits, career training, and educational opportunities to help them get quality, good paying jobs. Paving the way for more veterans to obtain their commercial driver’s licenses will also address a critical workforce shortage and keep goods moving along our nation’s supply chain.”

“Frustrating red tape is inhibiting some veterans from pursuing a career in trucking, which is vital to our modern economy. I’m proud to reintroduce legislation with Senator Padilla that will reverse unnecessary regulations and allow more veterans to take advantage of their well-earned GI benefits,” said Senator Fischer.

The legislation would ensure CDL schools that offer courses at new branches do not have to wait two years if the primary institutions have already been approved by the VA and state approving agency to receive funding. By clarifying this two-year moratorium statute, the bill will allow veterans more access to nearby CDL schools and lead to more careers in the trucking industry. CDL schools must still comply with state and VA rules regarding curriculum standards to ensure no programs are exploiting veterans or offering fraudulent courses.

Senator Padilla is committed to supporting all those who have fought for our nation’s freedom. From improving immigration services for military families to addressing veteran homelessness and cleaning up harmful PFAS chemicals on military bases, Padilla works to ensure that servicemembers, veterans, and their families receive the support they deserve. He is committed to guaranteeing that our veterans receive the full benefits and care that they have earned.

The legislation is endorsed by the International Brotherhood of Teamsters, Veterans of Foreign Wars, Moving Veterans Forward, Werner Trucking, American Trucking Association, Commercial Vehicle Training Association, and Nebraska Trucking Association.

Full text of the bill is available here.


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