Tomorrow (Thursday) morning, the Senate Ag committee will be hearing SB2216 at 9:00 AM. As far as anyone can tell, this bill helps clarify zoning boundaries so that anyone who is trying to set up an animal feeding operation will know where to begin measuring setback distances from.
There is a bill, SB2245, which addresses some funding for bolstering the intermodal facility in Minot. It has been running for a while with lots of potential to be a good deal for Identity preserved producers, especially in the central and western parts of our state. Logistics and prices of intermodal still seem to favor the Twin Cities for Red River Valley producers, according to testimony. The Appropriations committee heard it on Tuesday and took no action.
Water Resource Districts and major Ag groups are coming in opposed to SB2208 tomorrow in Senate Ag at 10:30 AM. I know from speaking with the prime sponsor and Chairman Luick that amendments are being prepared, but as written it is not good for drainage in the opinion of almost everyone. I may provide an inadvertent opportunity for a laugh at my expense after submitting testimony opposed but when sending it pushed the “In Favor” button instead of the obvious intent to push “Opposed”. Seeing no way to change it, I let the Chairman know so it did not lead to any embarrassment but for me. Five people have called already to let me know what I did, so at least folks are paying attention. That is okay as laughs surrounding SB2208 will probably be rare.
SB2230 will also be heard in Senate Ag tomorrow at 9:30 AM. That bill offers up to $100 million (up from $50 million) that the Bank of North Dakota can direct into the Strategic Investment and Improvements Fund to establish a guaranteed reserve fund. Moneys in the guaranteed reserve fund are available to reimburse lenders for guaranteed loans in default. I understand it has been helpful recently for some in the ethanol industry.