Several states could fail to meet a Jan. 30 deadline which would require them to force interstate truckers to provide proof they are healthy to operate a truck, and that means millions of federal money marked for road and bridge construction could be wiped off the table.
The state of Missouri is one of those states currently not in compliance, and failure to make the measure law would cost $30 million, or 5% of highway funds. The current federal regulation requires interstate truck drivers to get the medical OK from a doctor, but the new rule asks for truckers to submit their medical approval forms to state licensing offices. The forms would then be entered into a national database. States that do not meet the Jan. 30 deadline could receive a grace period, and the federal government will not officially start docking pay until 2014.
“It’s hard enough to keep our roads in good condition, and this is going to make it more difficult,” said Missouri state Rep. Eric Burlison.
Earlier this year, Missouri lawmakers packaged a measure that included the trucker provision, but the move also would have allowed more electronic billboards along state highways. Gov. Jay Nixon opposed the extra advertising, and vetoed the bill.