There are only a few Legislative Interim committees still to officially end their studies and today marked the end of Agriculture and Transportation work. They covered three topics with the first being a pilot project for road trains whereby the committee okayed a bill draft that would continue to push for the establishment of a pilot project. Once this bill comes up for a hearing during the regular session, it will be clearer just what types of long trucks, routes, loads and axle configurations might be allowed by the DOT, Highway Patrol, Motor Carriers and other interested parties.
Then the biggest bill for Agriculture taken up this interim was discussed and voted forward to be introduced this session – the grain inspection and matters related to grain buyers, brokers and insolvencies. As often reported by this blog and the North Dakota Soybean Growers Magazine, the enforcement of these issues has been transferred to the North Dakota Department of Agriculture and they jumped on changes geared to make sense of what Commissioner Doug Goehring called some unclear and confusing rules. During the Interim, Chairman Dennis Johnson encouraged the ND Grain Dealers and the NDDA to work resolving differences. Over the last 18 months or so, it looks like that has happened and the bill goes into regular session in January with some optimism.
Finally, the committee decided to send a message to the Secretary of State’s office via a bill draft recommending that they use existing funds to utilize their Central Indexing System to notify primary Ag lenders when another financier extends credit to a producer with a lien. The action would do nothing to move recipients ahead or behind when it comes to getting paid, but simply let the primary know. This is at least part if not the major part of the banker’s ask last session.