Governor Brian Kemp has joined fellow governors in launching Operation Open Roads aimed at proposing common-sense solutions the Biden administration should consider to address global supply chain issues. As part of this multistate effort, Governor Kemp also convened public and private sector partners at the Georgia State Capitol for a round table discussion that highlighted Georgia’s record of leadership on supply chain, logistics, and workforce issues.
“Under the Biden administration, the American supply chain has come to a screeching halt,” said Governor Kemp. “Thanks to Georgia’s long record of leadership on innovative solutions to supply chain, logistics and infrastructure, and workforce challenges, public and private sector leaders here in the Peach State have rolled up their sleeves and got to work addressing this crisis. From expanding capacity at our Port in Savannah, to streamlining the process for CDL license holders, we are laser-focused on getting essential goods to market, cutting government red tape, and keeping hardworking Georgians employed. I call on the Biden administration to finally address this crisis by taking a page from Georgia’s successful playbook and quickly implementing similar reforms at the federal level.”
Governors from the following states joined Georgia in the Operation Open Roads initiative: Tennessee, Arizona, Florida, Idaho, Iowa, Maryland, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina and Texas. A copy of the letter the group submitted to the Biden administration outlining measures the federal government could take is available upon request.
As part of these efforts, Governor Kemp also convened a round table discussion in Georgia with public and private sector experts from the following categories to discuss what can be done to move the needle and where the federal government can step in to help mitigate challenges: ports, transportation, driver services, economic development, rail, roadway, retail, food services, and small business. Video from the event can be found here.
After hearing from the experts, Governor Kemp outlined the following suggestions for the federal government:
Prioritize the implementation of and work with states to execute an adjustment of federal guidelines to lower the eligibility age for Commercial Drivers Licenses from 21 to 18. This program should be put into motion on or before January 14, 2022. It could certify up to 25,000 18- to 20-year-old drivers as long-haul truckers per year.
|▪||Eliminate or suspend unnecessary taxes that create financial disincentives – for example, the 12 percent excise tax imposed on new truck purchases in section 4051 of the Internal Revenue Code.|
|▪||Suspend the burdensome federal vaccine mandate which is only going to make workforce shortages even more pronounced.|
|▪||Follow the lead of states like Georgia and talk to experts in the private sector and identify ways these industry leaders can help partner with local, state, and federal governments to move the ball down the field.|
To further underscore these efforts, Governor Kemp is marshalling state government resources and dedicating appropriate agencies to work closely with the private sector to address these issues. His executive order, Addressing Supply Chain Issues in Georgia, will be posted here.