U.S. Sen. Dick Lugar (R-IN) today applauded the passage of two amendments to the Surface Transportation Reauthorization bill currently being considered on the Senate floor. Lugar was a co-sponsor of both amendments.
"Regulatory actions taken by the Federal government can have significant impacts on farmers of all sizes in Indiana and across the country, Lugar said. "The ability of our nation's farms to continue to safely produce an abundant food supply is imperative, and these amendments will provide many farmers with regulatory relief that will improve their operations and lower costs."
The first amendment, S.A. 1814, would exempt farm vehicles from certain Federal requirements governing the operation of motor vehicles. Because some states currently exempt farm vehicles while others do not, a farmer merely crossing a state line while hauling a crop during or after harvest could trigger conflicting licensing and hauling requirements. These regulations can be particularly burdensome for Hoosier farmers living in counties bordering another state.
The second amendment, S.A. 1617, provides much-needed clarification to the existing hours of service agricultural exemption, which was first enacted by Congress in 1995. This exemption provided limited relief from regulations for agricultural operations transporting commodities or farm supplies. The exemption is limited to 100 miles from the source and is available only during the planting and harvesting seasons.
Both amendments were supported by the Indiana Farm Bureau, the American Farm Bureau Federation, and the National Grain and Feed Association, among other groups.