Legislation benefitting Hoosier farmers passes House

Posted by: Kelly Sweeney  | Thursday, January 22, 2015 8:00 am

STATEHOUSE — State Representative Jim Baird (R-Greencastle) co-authored legislation, House Bill (HB) 1017, to benefit farmers and Indiana’s agriculture industry. If enacted, the bill would expand the weight exemptions, already allowed for certain commercial motor vehicles, to include vehicles transporting wood chips, bark, and sawdust and farm tractors. HB 1017 unanimously passed the Indiana House and will now be sent to the Senate for further consideration and debate.

“Hoosier farmers are extremely valuable to our state and local economies, especially in west central Indiana,” said Rep. Baird. “That is why we need to do everything we can to support them as they provide food, sustenance and products that countless Hoosiers rely on.”

HB 1017 expands the definition of “commercial motor vehicle” and “gross combination weight” to include vehicles transporting wood chips, bark and sawdust. Under this bill, those vehicles would be excluded from the strict overweight penalties that can come from driving on public roads.

Additionally, Rep. Baird added language to the bill to define the term “farm tractor” to exclude wagons, trailers and other implements of agriculture. This would benefit the agriculture industry by broadening the scope of large farm vehicles that are permitted to use public roads.

“These specifications will more clearly define these units and allow them to move from field to field or to repair and maintenance facilities on public rights of way without disruption,” said Rep. Baird.

For more information on HB 1017, please visit iga.in.gov.

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Rep. Baird represents all of Putnam County and portions of Clay, Morgan, Owen and Parke counties.