Assemblyman Pete Lopez (R, C, I – Schoharie) announced today that Assembly Bill 6051-A, a measure he is co-sponsoring, passed the Assembly. The Assemblyman has been working with local fire departments, the Fire Association of the State of New York and his colleagues in the State Legislature to remove requirements that firefighters and other emergency services providers obtain Commercial Driver’s Licenses (CDL).
“This legislation has been the subject of serious discussion across the seven counties I serve in the Mid-Hudson, Northern Catskills and Southern Tier. Many of these communities find themselves at risk as they struggle to attract and retain fire and emergency services volunteers – individuals who give much time and put themselves at risk to protect our homes and families,” said Assemblyman Lopez.
Specifically, this bill amends Section 501 of the Vehicle and Traffic Law to provide for the exemption of police vehicles, fire vehicles and emergency medical services vehicles from CDL requirements during their use in emergency situations, in the performance of official duties, and activities related to the execution of emergency governmental functions.
To ensure that firefighters and emergency services volunteers remain exempt from these requirements in the future, Assemblyman Lopez has co-sponsored the legislation and applauds today’s passage of the bill in the State Senate. The Assemblyman will continue to advocate for the legislation to be quickly signed into law by the Governor. He stated, “At a time we find ourselves battling a sea of unfunded and destructive mandates, this legislation sends a positive signal that Albany can reverse course if it has the political will.”
Assemblyman Lopez continued, “I am hopeful the bill will be quickly signed by Governor Paterson. Our volunteers need and deserve our full support and attention to continue their vital service.”
Additionally, the Assemblyman sponsors Assembly Bill 1090 to create the Volunteer Firefighter and Ambulance Worker Protection and Incentive Act to provide first responders with incentives and rewards to foster recruitment. This bill also ensures that fire vehicles will be exempt from motor vehicle registration fees.