News Release From the Office of State Senator Wendy Davis

January 23, 2013
Contact: Rick Svatora
Communications Director
State Sen. Wendy Davis – District 10

Senator Wendy Davis Files Bill to Help Veterans Land Jobs

Davis files Senate Bill 229, to provide veterans in Texas a fast track to obtaining commercial driver's licenses

AUSTIN — Senator Wendy Davis today announced the filing of Senate Bill 229, to smooth the way for veterans in Texas to find good-paying jobs after they leave the service. The bill implements a federal law which allows states to waive the domicile requirement to award a commercial driver's license.

"Our veterans are a tremendous asset to Texas," said Davis. "This legislation recognizes the experience of men and women serving in our Armed Forces and provides the means for them to obtain good paying jobs as soon as possible."

Davis's legislation implements the Military Commercial Driver's License Act, passed by Congress and signed into law last fall. That legislation allows states to waive residency requirements for commercial licenses for service members living in the state. Skills and safety testing requirements are unchanged under the legislation. The bill was backed by the American Legion and the Truckload Carriers Association.

"On behalf of the veterans of Texas, I'd like to thank Sen. Davis for carrying this bill," said Bill West, State Adjutant, The American Legion, Department of Texas. "Members of the military are trusted with the lives of their fellow service members and millions of dollars in equipment. This bill translates those responsibilities into the opportunity to earn a good paycheck when they leave the military."

According to recent data by the American Trucking Association, there are over 200,000 unfilled trucking jobs in the United States. Texas is a national leader in heavy and tractor trailer driver jobs, a demand that's only increased with the development of the Barnett and Eagle Ford Shale oil fields. Commercial drivers in Texas earned over $37,000 a year in 2011.

"Texas is a leader in finding jobs for veterans," said Thomas Palladino, executive director of the Texas Veterans Commission. "Efforts which assist veterans' entry into the workforce by valuing their experience and military skills are a win-win for Texas."