An Illinois congressman has proposed an amendment to remove a provision to increase the minimum insurance requirements that passed the House Transportation Committee just under two weeks ago.
The original measure, which passed by a vote of 37-27 on June 17th aimed to raise the minimum insurance requirements for trucking companies from $750,000 to $2,000,000. That amendment to the INVEST Act was introduced by Illinois Rep. Chuy Garcia and co-sponsored by Pennsylvania Rep. Mathew Cartwright.
Now, Illinois Congressman Mike Bost has proposed an amendment to strike section 4408 this amendment, effectively cancelling out Rep. Garcia’s amendment. Bost, who was a truck driver for over 13 years for his family’s trucking company.
The OOIDA recently announced their support for the Bost Amendment 194 to strike the previous amendment saying that although they originally supported the bill, they withdrew their support when the proposed insurance increases would cause members to lost their businesses and livelihoods.
An overnight increase in minimum financial responsibility of 167% will undoubtedly devastate many small trucking businesses,” OOIDA wrote in a letter to the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, which passed Garcia’s amendment earlier this month. “The 265,000 single-truck operators working in America today will be particularly at risk.”
Congressman Chuy Garcia tweeted that the measure was not “about trail lawyers or an attack on truckers,” it seems their may be a direct connection between these lawmakers and lawfirms who specialize in truck accident litigation.
While Garcia is saying it is not about “trial lawyers,” the amendments other co-sponsor has direct ties to a law firm specializing in truck lawsuits and massive verdicts. In-fact his wife is a partner. Cartwright’s wife, Marion Munley was the first woman Chair of the American Association for Justice Trucking Litigation Group and owns the Munley Law Group with her family.
Munley is also an active member of the American Association of Justice, which donated $17,000 to Garcia’s campaign from 2018-2020 according to opensecrets.org. Cartwright has received $52,400 in individual contributions from Munley Law during this period and a whopping $1,879,003 in contributions from lawyers and lawfirms between 2016-2020 according to OpenSecrets.
The House Rules Committee will meet Monday, June 29, to determine which amendments will be voted on by the House later next week.