President Expected to Sign Bill Next Week
Although the new bill passed both the House and Senate on July 29, another extension was passed through August 14, allowing time for the President to schedule a bill signing ceremony sometime during the week of August 8.
As we go through the text of the recently passed Reauthorization bill, it has become apparent that it may take a few more days before we can prepare a more complete analysis of the bill than our Update of July 30 on issues that are important to motor carrier enforcement.
We regret an error in our earlier report on Maintenance of Effort (Section 4106). The actual language reads: “maintained at a level at least equal to the average level of that expenditure for the 3 full fiscal years beginning after October 1 of the year 5 years prior to the beginning of each Government fiscal year.” As an example, for FY 2005, go back 5 years to FY 2000, then go forward to the state’s next full Fiscal Year, which for most states would be July 2001. Then take the average over 2001, 2002, and 2003.
We also neglected to report that the bill did not codify the existing hours-of-service regulations, nor include any elements of the Boozman amendment that would have increased the off-duty time two hours by not requiring rest periods and meal breaks to be logged within the current 14 hour on-duty requirement. This means that FMCSA, according to the decision of the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals in July 2004, must issue a new hours-of-service rule by September 30 of this year.