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Bill would let farmers exceed road weight limits

With no debate, the House has voted 65-1 in favor of legislation to let farmers exceed weight limits by 2,000 pounds on any road other than interstate freeways; the exemption wouldn’t apply to posted bridge weights or other seasonal or temporary weight limit postings. “The current practice of loading farming commodities in rural Idaho can be a challenge,” Rep. JoAn Wood, R-Rigby, told the House. “Commodities can vary with respect to pounds per bushel. … This legislation would allow some latitude to compensate for those shipping realities.” She added, “There are no weigh stations coming off the farming property, and it’s really difficult.”

The bill, HB 290, lets vehicles owned and operated by a farmer or designated agents transporting agricultural products exceed weight limits by up to 2,000 pounds “in excess of any axle, bridge or gross vehicle weight limit.” It was proposed by Sen. Jim Guthrie, R-McCammon. Rep. Grant Burgoyne, D-Boise, cast the only dissenting vote in the House; the bill now moves to the Senate side.

Wood told the House the bill would “give them a little bit of leeway with dirt on potatoes, beets, that type of thing, or shifting of the load as they come up on the highway.”

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Betsy Z. Russell
Betsy Z. Russell joined The Spokesman-Review in 1991. She currently is a reporter in the Boise Bureau covering Idaho state government and politics, and other news from Idaho's state capital.

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