AFBF outlines transportation report priorities
Created: 5/02/12 (Wed) | Topic: Issues
As House and Senate conferees prepare to conference on a surface transportation bill, the American Farm Bureau Federation sent a letter Tuesday strongly urging them to include several priority provisions in the final conference report.
The Merkley-Toomey amendment would help to clarify current transportation laws and remove inconsistencies that impede commerce and American agriculture. In addition, the amendment would exempt certain farm vehicles from some federal requirements governing the operation of motor vehicles.
Currently, vehicles with a gross vehicle weight under 26,001 pounds are not subject to these requirements, however, a one-ton pickup pulling a small stock trailer can easily exceed this weight. Further, because some states exempt farm vehicles while others do not, merely crossing state lines can trigger conflicting requirements for some farmers who are doing nothing more than hauling their own crop.
Farm Bureau also supports the Klobuchar-Roberts provision, which contains exemptions for agricultural products and allows for the distribution of farm supplies in a timely manner, especially during the busiest times of the year.
The Secure Rural Schools and Community Self-Determination program, another AFBF-favored provision, provides the funds necessary to educate rural school children. The act allows funding for smaller classrooms, retaining high-quality teachers, and buying books, computers and supplies.