ANCHORAGE (KTUU) - A bill signed by Gov. Mike Dunleavy on Friday hopes to give a boost to major economic projects that the state is courting.
The bill, which lowers the minimum age required for an intrastate commercial driver's licence from 19 to 18, was sponsored by Anchorage Republican Senator Mia Costello, who said that there is a statewide demand for commercial vehicle drivers.
"Currently, Alaska is looking to court projects of considerable size, like the Alaska LNG pipeline," she wrote.
Costello also pointed out that the age requirement for commercial licenses for interstate commerce of 21 is "arbitrarily" higher than that required for intrastate commerce. The bill also lowers the age of interstate commerce to 18, though federal law still supersedes state law.
Costello, in her sponsor statement, writes that "SB 75 will increase pressure to change the Federal statute."
Gov. Dunleavy signed the bill at Northern Industrial Training in Palmer.
On a statement on Facebook, he wrote that "This legislation is a giant step forward for economic opportunity for young Alaskans and Alaska’s trucking industry."
The bill was supported by many unions and trucking companies.
It was passed 36-0 in the House with two representatives excused and two absent, and 19-0 in the Senate, with one excused.
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