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House-Senate Conference Committee Completes 5-Year Highway Funding Bill

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CSA Scores Removed from Public View and Interim Hiring Standards Dropped

The House-Senate conference committee completed a five-year, long-term highway funding bill called the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation (FAST) Act. The FAST Act combines the House’s STRR Act and the Senate’s Drive Act, and would spend roughly $300 billion on highway and transit projects.

The notable reforms in the Act include:

  • Removal of “Interim Hiring Standard” provisions originally included in the STRR Act.
  • Removal of CSA scores from public view until the Government Accountability Office, the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Inspector General, and several law enforcement organizations can review and reform the scoring program.
  • Grant priorities for veterans looking for careers in the trucking industry and reduced regulatory barriers that prevented veterans from getting jobs as commercial truck and bus drivers.
  • Allowing carriers to use hair testing as an alternative to urine tests for drug and alcohol screenings, once the U.S Department of Health and Human Services issues federal standards for hair testing.
  • A study on the safety effects of truck drivers who commute longer than 150 minutes, completed by the FMCSA administrator.

The House and Senate will vote on the FAST Act this week and send it to President Obama to sign before the current short-term highway bill funding extension expires on Friday.

If it’s approved, the FAST Act will be the first highway funding bill passed to run longer than two years since 2005.
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