– The “Veterans’ Choice of Representation and Benefits Enhancement Act of 2006” — approved by the United States Senate Committee on Veterans Affairs July 27 — included a provision, sponsored by Senator Conrad Burns (R–MT), that would help address the truck renting and leasing industry’s maintenance technician shortage, according to the Truck Renting and Leasing Association (TRALA). S. 2694 would amend existing federal law to “expand the scope of programs of education for which accelerated payments of education assistance under the Montgomery GI Bill” are provided. At present, only veterans that choose to pursue a career in the technology industry qualify for the educational assistance program. Under S. 2694, the education assistance program would be broadened to be applicable to veterans interested in schooling for a career in the transportation industry.The expanded educational assistance program will help address the truck renting and leasing industry’s technician shortage, identified by TRALA’s Equipment and Technology Council (ETAC) as the most important issue impacting the maintenance segment of the truck renting and leasing industry. S. 2694 is now on the legislative calendar for consideration before the entire Senate, and TRALA is working with Senator Burns’ office and industry allies, including the ATA, to gain its passage.