A bill to allow the state Department of Public Safety to issue nondomiciled driver’s licenses and learner’s permits to H2A agricultural workers today passed out of the state Senate Public Safety Committee.
Authored by Sen. Mike Schulz, the bill is in response to a Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration rule issued last year that prevents the state from issuing temporary commercial driver’s licenses to H2A agricultural workers.
The bill directly impacts custom harvesters, who rely on temporary workers, Schulz said.
“Without their ability to drive a truck, there’s not much work that happens, which translates into my crops not being harvested and taken to town and taken to market in a timely manner,” Schulz said. “Overall it impacts the custom harvester directly, but it impacts all of agriculture indirectly.”
While a similar bill passed the House last week, Schulz said the goal is for the governor sign one as quick as possible.
If either bill is passed, Schulz said he is confident the state will be able to issue licenses in time for this year’s wheat harvest.
For more information about the bill, click here.
Listen to our interview with Sen. Schulz: