On Tuesday, the Grower’s board had a meeting in Fargo that touched on many issues including subcommittee meetings for a Legislative update, a Membership meeting, Communications and other business. I took off for Bismarck early that evening.
Wednesday saw DOT discussing their budget in front of House Appropiations. The day ended at the Water Commission building where current water issues were discussed and questioned before coming into the Water Commission budget yesterday (HB1020).
An old friend from the beginning of the session, HB1126 – the one about the PSC and insolvency, inspection of grain warehouses and a new indemnity fund – was heard in Senate Agriculture yesterday. As you may recall, it has been honed to allow the PSC to recapture its expenses dealing with insolvency cases from the indemnity fund and the big change is to allow electronic communications concerning buying and selling grain so that there is a record should insolvency occur. The only wrinkle was a proposed amendment to be tacked on which requests a study about consistency of testing when it comes to vomitoxin, moisture, proteins and others. Senator Luick expressed some curiosity about how testing variances still occur. He was told that mostly it is about Federal control when commodities leave the state and that modern measuring/testing devices are quite sophisticated. Nonetheless, it would appear a study may be added.
Senate Ag then acted on HB1282, the Commodity Group bill. Senator Myrdal moved a Do not Pass and with Senator Osland absent, that motion passed 5-0. It may hit the floor today or Monday.
SB2263 was heard yesterday in House Ag. That is the tiling bill. We were told yesterday in the Ag Coalition breakfast that SB2263 will be combined. In Senate Ag there was a tiling subcommittee discussed. Senator Klein suggested Senator Luick be on the subcommittee that would combine elements of HB1390 and SB2263. He also mentioned that Rep. Headland, Rep. Dennis Johnson, Senator Wanzek and Senator Piepkorn also be on the subcommittee.