Murphy’s Law 2019 #10

February 14, 2019

Warehouse, grain buyer licensing and grain inspection is a hot topic again this session. With a big insolvency issue out there – this time involving a roving grain buyer – there are a couple of bills looking to make some changes. Senator Wanzek is trying to find fixes with 2346 by talking about the indemnity fund taking a small cut from the sale of all grain and oilseed crops. With greater participation, it could reduce the current rate of contribution (whenever it might kick in again) to ¼ of what it is now, .0005% or about $50 for every $100,000 of crop sold. It would also allow for contributors to get a refund, but then if there is an insolvency in which the fund would be used, those refunded would not qualify for relief. There are many other issues if you care to read it. Also moving on this topic is bill 1467 which would transfer the responsibility for grain buyer licensing and grain inspection from the Public Service Commission (PSC) to the North Dakota Department of Agriculture. Ag Commissioner Goehring stated that there needs to be adequate staffing and some other changes whether the agencies transfer the authority or not. PSC Commissioner Christman agreed with some of the needed changes but explained that whenever he has asked for further funding there has been no cooperation from previous legislatures. The discussion is needed and these bills will continue to air it out.