Brown promotes bill allowing vets to get commercial driver's licenses

“Our service members acquire skills in the military that can translate easily to the civilian workforce,” Brown said in a statement Wednesday. “If they can operate a truck on a military base in Afghanistan, then they should be able to use those skills on the road in Kettering or Springboro. 

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“But many veterans face red tape and roadblocks when they try to apply their military skills and training to the civilian job market.”

Sen. Olympia Snowe (R-Maine) introduced S. 3624. Senate Veterans Affairs Committee Chairwoman Patty Murray (D-Wash.) tried to incorporate the bill into a larger veterans’ jobs package before the Senate adjourned for the November elections, but Republicans filibustered it. Instead the Senate passed S. 3624 by unanimous consent before leaving, sending the bill to the president's desk.

Brown co-sponsored the legislation, which would eliminate an existing law that only allows service members to obtain a commercial driver’s licenses in their home state of record. Brown said since many military personnel are stationed away from their home state of record, current law makes it difficult for them to apply for the license, even though they may have the adequate training to qualify for the license.

“Under existing law, service members are unable to apply training received at their military installation or base toward receiving a Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) in their home state,” Brown said. “Now there’s bipartisan legislation — soon to be signed into law — that eliminates the hurdle for service members looking to get a CDL. Now service members can meet the requirements for good-paying jobs before they become veterans.”

Sens. Mark Begich (D-Alaska), Scott Brown (R-Mass.), James Inhofe (R-Okla.), Johnny Isakson (R-Ga.), Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), Jerry Moran (R-Kan.), Murray, John Rockefeller (D-W.Va.) and Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) also cosponsored the bill.