South Dakota could be
forced to go without millions in federal highway dollars if state lawmakers opt
against adopting new federal standards for commercial driver’s licenses.
House lawmakers approved
a bill Monday, Jan. 24, that would add the standards to state law. The bill now
moves to the Senate for consideration.
The standards are in
two federal laws, including the USA Patriot Act. Failure to comply carries the
possibility of losing road money.
The first year of
noncompliance would equate to a 5 percent cut, or $7 million, the Argus
Leader reported. Subsequent penalties would be doubled.
If worse comes to
worse, the federal government could take away South Dakota’s authority to issue
The state Public
Safety Department is sponsoring a bill – HB1061 – to make the needed changes in
Federal law mandates
a fingerprint-based background check on all truck drivers who haul hazardous
materials. The cost of the check is estimated at just below $100.
The fee is made up of three parts: a fee for the collection
of fingerprints and applicant information; a fee for threat assessment, during
which the Transportation Security Administration decides whether the person is
a security threat; and a fee for the FBI to run the fingerprints through its
Under the proposal, anyone seeking a CDL with an endorsement
to haul hazardous materials after Jan. 30 would need such a background check.
After May 31, anyone renewing or transferring a hazmat endorsement from one
state to another would have to have a background check.