By J.D. DAVIDSON
THE CENTER SQUARE REGIONAL EDITOR
(The Center Square) — Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine wants the Biden administration to ease restrictions on the trucking industry to help small businesses and consumers get access to goods during the holiday season.
Gov. DeWine has joined 14 other Republican governors in asking the federal government to suspend what they called burdensome regulations and make immediate changes to federal law that could relieve supply chain backlogs.
“Supply chain issues have led to shortages of raw materials and goods from factories to stores, and simple actions, like modifying weight limits, adjusting hours of service for truck drivers, and removing some non-safety-related restrictions on commercial drivers’ licenses will help ease a record-shortage of truck drivers and allow more goods to flow to market,” Gov. DeWine said. “I’m calling on President Biden to review and revise any federal regulations that are hindering our efforts.”
In a joint statement, the governors said President Joe Biden’s policies regarding COVID-19 vaccines and regulations continue to affect unemployment, inflation and contribute to a shortage of 80,000 truck drivers across the nation.
“Rather than unleashing the economy, President Biden dramatically increased regulations and rulemaking authority that prevent private sector growth,” the statement read. “With more paychecks at risk, American families are forced to pay more for food, gas and everyday goods as inflation surges to a 30-year high under President Biden’s watch.”
Gov. DeWine said he would remove supply chain hurdles in the state by directing the Ohio Department of Transportation to speed up the process shipping companies use to move oversized loads across the state.
Currently trucks hauling loads more than 80,000 pounds must have a special ODOT permit before the shipment can travel.
Gov. DeWine instructed ODOT to reinstitute a pandemic-era program that allowed haulers to move heavier loads, up to 90,000 pounds, without getting pre-approval as long as they agree to report where they traveled after the trip is complete.
Gov. DeWine said the measure will remain in place until further notice.