Federal Motorcoach Safety Legislation Passes Senate Committee

News

School Transportation News – Sens. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) and Kay Bailey Hutchinson (R-TX) introduced the Motorcoach Enhanced Safety Act of 2009 in March on the one-year anniversary of a crash in Atlanta that killed five Bluffton University baseball players after the motorcoach in which they were riding plunged off a freeway overpass. The driver mistook a highway exit for a through-way bus lane.

But representatives of UMA and ABA have previously said the motorcoach and commercial bus industries prefer a proposed bill by Rep. Bill Schuster (R-PA) (HR 1135) that would require the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) to perform a study to determine what motorcoach safety requirements should be improved within the next three years. In a separate but related federal motorcoach safety plan unveiled last month by Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood, NHTSA is directed to prescribe standards for occupant protection that accounts for frontal, side and rear collisions, as well as rollovers, and provide standards for the same items the Brown-Hutchinson bill requires. The bill specifies consideration of retrofitting of this equipment, but does not require it.

The Akron Beacon Journal – A new Dairy Economic Loss Assistance Payment (DELAP) program will provide up to $290 million in loss-assistance payments to eligible dairy producers.

"Dairy farmers play a key role in the economic success of Ohio's small towns and rural communities," said Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, who is chairman of the U.S. Senate Agriculture Subcommittee on Food, Nutrition, and Family Farms.

The Detroit News – Washington—A Senate committee today unanimously approved legislation that would require safety belts, anti-rollover technology and stronger roofs on commercial buses.

The rules wouldn't apply to school buses. The Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee endorsed the bill on a voice vote. It was sponsored by Sens. Kay Bailey Hutchison, R-Texas, and Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, and would overhaul the nation's commercial bus regulations in the face of a string of serious accidents.

Industry Week – Ahead of a meeting today at the White House, Ron Bloom, President Barack Obama's senior adviser for manufacturing policy, said that the U.S. needs, "legal, tax and regulatory regimes that promote American manufacturing and do not place an undue burden on those who wish to manufacture products in America. "It is vital to have a concerted effort across the administration to support an innovative, vibrant manufacturing sector that creates and sustains good paying jobs."

Industry Week – Ahead of a meeting today at the White House, Ron Bloom, President Barack Obama's senior adviser for manufacturing policy, said that the U.S. needs, "legal, tax and regulatory regimes that promote American manufacturing and do not place an undue burden on those who wish to manufacture products in America. "It is vital to have a concerted effort across the administration to support an innovative, vibrant manufacturing sector that creates and sustains good paying jobs."

The Hill – Liberal Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio), one of the most vocal supporters of creating a government-run public option health insurance program, affirmed that he will vote in favor of the Senate healthcare reform bill even though his priority has been stripped out.

"We're going to vote for cloture. We're going to pass it," Brown said Tuesday on MSNBC. "We're doing most of the right thing. This is a good bill," he said, noting that it would extend health coverage to more than 30 million people and enact strict new insurance market reforms and consumer protections.