March 28, 2018

Budget bill has bright spots for ag

Topic: Issues

March 27, 2018: The omnibus budget bill that was passed may have its controversies, but two positives for ag came out of it, and we'll take them!

Download the Omnibus bill has positives for ag mp3.

Read the transcript:

The great omnibus spending bill. The budget bill that has been very heavily debated since the signing of it late last week. It’s sad that we have to do things in that sort of manner, instead of pass appropriations bills like they’re supposed to be passed. But this seems to be the way it is in D.C., until we get more reformers elected to office.

But I want to point out a couple of things that were positive in that budget package, positive for agriculture, which in turn is positive for all of North Dakota. And that’s something that we at NDFB want to make known, when positive things happen for our industry, the number one industry in North Dakota.

The first one that happened was a delay in the enforcement of the ELD, the electronic logging device rule and law, which allows some flexibility for us. Now it’s still going to take another legislative piece to fix, but it allows us to have that time to work on the fix for the hauling of the perishable commodities or the livestock that need to be transported across this country. So instead of having to go and ask for a 60 or 90-day waiver every 60 or 90 days, we now have six months to work very diligently for a complete fix – a final fix – to the ELD rules.

The second thing that is very important, and this, what we’re being told, is a permanent fix for the reporting of gases from animal agriculture. In other words, we are not going to have to measure our cow farts, pig farts, or chicken farts, out on our farms and ranches and report it to the EPA. Hmm. We finally smelled something good in this bill. Supposedly we get a permanent fix out of that.

So those are a couple of things that were positive in this omnibus spending bill. We wish that we could get back to regular order in D.C. And we advocate for that on the behalf of all of our members and all of the citizens of North Dakota, to get things back the way they’re supposed to work in D.C. But for now, we’ll take those two fixes and we’ll work hard on the one that was just a six month fix to get a permanent solution.