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State of Emergence in Georgia Featured

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Last Thursday, Georgia Governor Brian Kemp declared a State of Emergency amid supply chain disruptions. The executive order went into effect on Saturday April 16th. As a result of the Covid-19 pandemic and an already stressed supply chain – Georgia has not been able to recover as quickly as they had hoped.

The five-page executive order declared -  “Despite the state’s successful mitigation of the public health impacts of COVID-19, Georgia supply chain has yet to fully recover and is still experiencing severe disruptions.”

Price gauging was also prohibited under the order (or the act of charging customers an exorbitant amount of money amid a crisis) for goods and services like food and fuel with the order calling it “detrimental.” 

In his order - Gov. Kemp also suspended the number of hours that commercial truck drivers can work "to ensure the supply chain for all supplies, goods, and services throughout Georgia is uninterrupted." The official document was quick to point out that drivers should not operate a vehicle while they are sick or tired.  Truck drivers must also be given at least ten hours off before being required to return to work upon notifying their motor vehicle carrier of fatigue.

The order also raised the weight and height limit of a given truck or trailer from 80,000 pounds with a maximum width of 8 feet, 5 inches for 5-axle trucks to 95,000 pounds and 10 feet allowed truckers to carry more goods at one time.

The order lasts for 30 days and is set to expire on May 16, 2022.

The supply chain crisis is a global issue and is affecting the entire United States. Since 2020, the country has been facing a supply chain shortage that has caused massive headaches for government officials as shelves stay empty and inflation ticks up across the country.

President Joe Biden recently pledged support for truckers through the federal Trucking Action Plan. In a press conference late last year President Biden spoke directly to truck drivers stating – “You all quit, everything comes to a halt.”

The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law also pledged investments for roads and bridges as well as higher pay for truck drivers. Biden went on to say, ““This country will be counting on you more than it ever has. So, you should be able to count on us to keep investing in you and your families.”

U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg pledged - “We must do more and do better to recruit more people into the job and to support them so they choose to stay in the job.” He went on to add -
“And, that’s more than saying thank you, it is concrete, specific actions to help our trucking workforce thrive in this career. To make sure that trucking jobs are as high quality, as safe, and as well paid as they ought to be.”

As many truckers retire – it has created a shortage of drivers – roughly 80,000. According to the American Trucking Association this is an all-time high in the industry. To alleviate the need for drivers the Biden administration has begun to discuss plans to reduce the amount of time it takes for drivers to get a commercial license while recruiting future drivers across the United States.

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 Danielle Loughnane

Danielle Loughnane earned her B.F.A. in Creative Writing from Emerson College and has currently been working in the data science field since 2015. She is the author of a comic book entitled, “The Superhighs” and wrote a blog from 2011-2015 about working in the restaurant industry called, "Sir I Think You've Had Too Much.” In her spare time she likes reading graphic novels and snuggling with her dogs.

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