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Coronavirus Economic Relief for Transportation Services Act (CERTS) – What You Need To Know

School transportation contractors across the country advocated vigorously for economic relief specifically tailored to their industry. To address these concerns, Congress included The Coronavirus Economic Relief for Transportation Services Act (CERTS) as a part of the Consolidated Appropriations Act (CAA) of 2021, Subtitle B, Sec. 420, which was enacted into law on December 2021. CERTS makes available $2 billion in funds for grants to eligible school bus companies, motor coach companies, passeng...
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6/9/2021| Reference Number : 259.170| Legal, School Bus, Legislative/Regulatory | CERTS, Funding |

SB 1216-Act 136 Addresses School Transportation Subsidies for 2020-2021 School Year

On Nov. 25, 2020 Governor Wolf signed SB 1216/Act 136 which included language addressing school transportation subsidies for the 2020-2021 school year. The new law assures that Pennsylvania schools will receive a transportation subsidy payment from the Pennsylvania Department of Education equal to the amount allocated for the previous school year if the school pays their contracted transportation provider as if there were no COVID-19 interruptions in the 2020-2021 reduced school year minus varia...
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12/20/2020| Reference Number : 259.164| School Bus, Legislative/Regulatory |

Evolving State Marijuana Laws and Safety-Sensitive Functions

Initiatives decided on November 3, 2020 by Arizona, New Jersey, Montana, South Dakota and Mississippi broadened state marijuana laws. There are now has 36 states and 4 territories with state laws permitting the medicinal and/or recreational use of marijuana. While federal law still prohibits marijuana and would normally control employment actions arising from marijuana, some recent federal courts have allowed state employment discrimination cases arising from drug test related employment termina...
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11/4/2020| Reference Number : 259.97.1| Legal, Human Resources, Insurance/Risk Management, Legislative/Regulatory |

Coronavirus Updates for School Bus Contractors Continued Payments to School Bus Contractors under the CARES Act Paid Emergency Leave and Sick Leave under the Families First Act

The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act) and the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) are two new federal laws with important implications for school bus contractors. The CARES Act directs schools to continue paying school bus contractors during Coronavirus school closures, enhances existing unemployment compensation benefits, and makes loans and grants available to businesses during Coronavirus school closures. The Families First Act modifies the Family Medi...
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4/1/2020| Reference Number : 155.0| Legal, School Bus, Legislative/Regulatory | COVID-19, Families First Act, CARES Act |

School Vehicle Curbside Pick Ups

Many contractors use school vehicles such as vans or multi-function school activity buses (MFSABs) to transport students. As public awareness of the dangers of illegal passing have increased, the roadway presence and proper operation of school vehicles that do not have stop arms and eight way lights have received increased scrutiny from schools, parents, police, and others. This article will discuss how to reconcile the often competing issues of public perception, legal compliance, and location ...
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3/6/2020| Reference Number : 152.0| Legal, School Bus, Legislative/Regulatory | Bus Stops, Loading Zones, School Vehicle |

Removing Barriers to Entry for New School Bus Drivers

The school bus driver shortage has become a nationwide issue that has even resulted in some schools canceling instructional days. All school bus contractors have been faced with this issue and regularly struggle with keeping drivers behind the wheel. Operators have tried bonus programs, referral programs, and free CDL training. Despite these efforts, the driver shortage continues. Following is a novel approach that could provide some relief by removing a common barrier to entry that discourages ...
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Legal Update for School Bus Contractors

Despite the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s (NHTSA) continued position that “the school bus is the safest vehicle on the road”, in 2019 the school bus industry has been the focus of increased attention from lawmakers and regulators. Following is a brief discussion of the evolving state and federal laws from the past year that matter most to Pennsylvania’s school bus contractors.
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