Indiana Agriculture Has Wins and Losses in General Assembly session

first_imgHome Indiana Agriculture News Indiana Agriculture Has Wins and Losses in General Assembly session Facebook Twitter Indiana Agriculture Has Wins and Losses in General Assembly sessionRandy KronIndiana agriculture had some wins and losses in the just concluded session of the Indiana General Assembly. The big win was new funding for road and bridge repair. House Enrolled Act 1002 provides a framework for road funding that relies on user fees: increased fuel taxes, uniform registration fee increases, and the shift of the sales tax on gasoline to road funding.  “HEA 1002 is a truly historic bill,” stated Randy Kron, Indiana Farm Bureau President. “It provides $260 million this next year for local roads and bridges and over $6 billion in new money for state and local roads over the next seven years.” According to Kron, this was not an easy compromise, “No one wants to pay more taxes, and our General Assembly has shown that tax increases are not their way of normally doing business. In this instance, the tax increase was the responsible thing to do.”Justin SchneiderJustin Schneider, with INFB’s public policy team, told HAT the final package puts more funds in the hands of local governments to address local road and bridge issues, “It is going to be incumbent on local government to tackle the most pressing issues first and from a farmer’s standpoint that is going to be local bridges.” It is estimated that over half of the bridges in the state are in need of repair or upgrading.The other big win was in the state budget. Farm Bureau prioritized support for funding for equitable k-12 education, State Fair infrastructure, and the Purdue Agricultural and Biological Engineering building. In addition, Farm Bureau was able to help secure funding for the Indiana Grown program.  “These budget supported initiatives all provide capacity for Indiana to continue to showcase and grow our agricultural sector,” noted Schneider. “They are an investment in the future of agriculture and growth of the Indiana brand.”Other key bills that passed this session included  HEA 1237, authored by Rep. Don Lehe (R-Brookston). It makes important changes to the grain buyers and warehouse licensing laws and to the grain indemnity fund. Farmers will now receive coverage under the grain indemnity fund for a period of 15 months after delivery of grain. Additionally, the list for who has opted-out of coverage will be reset as of July 1, 2015. There will also be provisions for retroactive payments for claims arising since Oct. 2014, due to lack of notice about the coverage period under the fund. Other clarifications in the law are that all grain sold to an Indiana-licensed grain buyer is covered.Some of the losses for agriculture included: HB 1494 – CONFINED FEEDING PERMITTING, authored by Rep. Dave Wolkins (R-Warsaw), which offered to update terminology and make definitions consistent between rules and statutes for confined feeding operations. The bill also put current practice regarding permit amendments and notification into statute. Most important, it made disclosure requirements regarding past violations easier to implement for farmers and less burdensome on the agency.SB 277, authored by Sen. Randy Head (R-Logansport), establishes a pilot program administered by the Indiana Housing & Community Development Authority to assist businesses and organizations in providing fresh or unprocessed foods in an underserved area, commonly referred to as a food desert.Other bills that were passed and will now move to the Governor’s desk include:HB 1082 – OVERRIDE VETO OF 2016 NO-MORE-STRINGENT BILLThe General Assembly passed an override of a veto issued last year by then-Gov. Mike Pence on HEA 1082, authored by Rep. Dave Wolkins (R-Warsaw). The bill requires that any rule that is more stringent than a corresponding regulation under federal law be delayed until the General Assembly has met and would have time to take action on the environmental rule before it becomes law.HEA 1235 – REGULATION OF PROCESSED MANURE BASED FERTILIZERIn an effort to support the development of manure-based fertilizers that can be sold with a guaranteed analysis, the Office of the Indiana State Chemist sought a change to create a new category of regulated fertilizers. HEA 1235, authored by Rep. Don Lehe (R-Brookston), exempts processed fertilizers that are at least 75 percent manure from regulation as a commercial fertilizer and requires the state chemist to adopt rules.HEA 1447 – OVERWEIGHT VEHICLESHEA 1447, authored by Rep. Bill Friend (R-Macy), prohibits the BMV from issuing points for overweight violations and removes any points that were issued after Dec. 31, 2015. BMV is currently in the process of amending the rule to stop the issuance of points for overweight vehicles. It has been determined that points can unfairly punish drivers who had no actual knowledge of the load being overweight. Rather, the focus has been on ensuring that regular enforcement and fines are appropriately used to deter illegal behavior for hauling overweight loads. HEA 1447 also provides for a process for hauling timber, sawdust and wood chips in loads of up to 97,000 pounds.SEA 294 – BOVINE TB TESTING COST-SHARESEA 294, authored by Sen. Jean Leising (R-Oldenburg), establishes a 50/50 cost share of bovine tuberculosis testing for each calendar year – 50 percent from the county council and 50 percent from the Indiana State Board of Animal Health.HEA 1491 – ATVs & UTVs TO BE CLASSIFIED AS “FARM WAGONS”HEA 1491, authored by Rep. Ed Soliday (R-Valparaiso), makes numerous changes to provisions regarding the Bureau of Motor Vehicles. It amends the definition of “farm wagon” to include all three, four or six-wheeled motor vehicles that are capable of cross country travel and are used primarily for farming purposes. This definition would include ATVs or utility vehicles such as a John Deere Gator or Kawasaki Mule. Those vehicles would be exempted from title and registration procedures if they are used for farming purposes.SEA 421 – ABOVE GROUND STORAGE TANKSSEA 421, authored by Sen. Eric Bassler (R-Washington), repeals the law requiring owners of certain above-ground storage tanks to register their tanks with the Indiana Department of Environmental Management because numerous state agencies already collect that information. SEA 421 also requests a study committee to further examine the issue of how best to organize above-ground storage tank information that is already reported to government.HEA 1039 – ROUNDABOUT RIGHT-OF-WAYOne of the first bills to move this session was HEA 1039, authored by Rep. Jerry Torr (R-Carmel). It requires that vehicles in a roundabout do not pass other vehicles over 10 feet wide or more than 40 feet long. This law will be beneficial to farmers who are maneuvering semis and wide equipment through roundabouts.HEA 1157 – RED TAPE ELIMINATION BILLHEA 1157, authored by Rep. Doug Miller (R-Elkhart), requires the division of government efficiency and financial planning within the Office of Management & Budget to identify any duplicative state reporting requirements regarding the employees of small businesses.HEA 1260 – RAILROAD EMINENT DOMAIN RESTRICTIONSHEA 1260, authored by Rep. Ed Soliday (R-Valparaiso), restricts railroad power of eminent domain to those sites where they have demonstrated a public use.HEA 1234 – STORAGE OF AGRICULTURAL AMMONIAHEA 1234, authored by Rep. Don Lehe (R-Brookston), clarifies that the state chemist has regulatory authority over all agricultural ammonia storage, including on-farm storage.HEA 1200 – OFF-ROAD VEHICLE SAFETYHEA 1200, authored by Rep. Lloyd Arnold (R-Leavenworth), requires off-road vehicle operators and riders under age 18 to wear helmets. The law does not apply to ATVs or UTVs such as John Deere Gators that are being used for agricultural purposes.HEA 1421 – ZONING BILL ADVANCESHEA 1421, authored by Rep. Jim Pressel (R-Rolling Prairie), provides certainty to those who have applied for a building permit by adding clarity that the rules in place at the time of the application govern for a period of three years for any zoning approval or other secondary permit.SEA 275 – NON-DOMICILED COMMERCIAL DRIVER’S LICENSESSEA 275, authored by Sen. Travis Holdman (R-Markle), requires the Bureau of Motor Vehicles to issue non-domiciled commercial driver’s licenses in compliance with federal law. These licenses are made available to residents of other states or foreign countries. This law will allow legal farm workers to obtain an Indiana CDL, which is consistent with surrounding states.SEA 413 – OPPORTUNITY TO CORRECT VIOLATIONSEA 413, authored by Sen. Eric Koch (R-Bedford), allows an agency to offer an opportunity for an individual to correct an alleged violation found during an inspection before taking an enforcement action or imposing a civil penalty on the individual. The process cannot be used in certain situations, such as if it was caused by intentional misconduct or there is an immediate risk to a person, human health or the environment. SHARE Previous articleAfter Long Wait USDA Secretary begins WorkNext articleHAT Wednesday Morning Edition 4/26/2017 Gary Truitt By Gary Truitt – Apr 25, 2017 SHARE Facebook Twitter Indiana Agriculture Has Wins and Losses in General Assembly sessionlast_img read more

Suspicious package labeled ‘anthrax’ left at office of Rep. Maxine Waters, officials say

first_imgGoogle(LOS ANGELES) — A hazmat crew in Los Angeles investigated the office of California Rep. Maxine Waters due to a “suspicious package” left there that was labeled “anthrax,” according to the Los Angeles Fire Department.The fire department later tweeted that no hazardous materials were found and that no one required hospitalization.Waters, 79, became engulfed in a feud with President Donald Trump last month after she called on her supporters to publicly confront and harass members of the Trump administration in response to the zero-tolerance immigration policy that led to thousands of children being separated at the U.S. border.Days later, Waters clarified her call to action after Trump claimed that she “called for harm” towards his supporters.“I believe in peaceful, very peaceful protests,” Waters told reporters in June. “I have not called for the harm of anybody. This president has lied, again, when he’s saying that I’ve called for harm.”Last week, Waters warned her supporters of potential “armed protests” against her after an extremist group called for ongoing demonstrations outside her Los Angeles office.The longtime congresswoman advised her supporters against being “baited” into counter-demonstrations with the “Oath Keepers,” a group she described as “an anti-government militia” that has staged armed protests across the country.The Oath Keepers has a track record of “violent and provocative behavior,” Waters wrote on Facebook last week.On Thursday, the officers and personnel from the Los Angeles Police Department were on site at Waters’ office “to ensure safety and security,” she wrote.“My primary concern is to maintain the safety and security of the protesters, staff, and constituents of California’s 43rd Congressional District — a task that would be exceedingly complicated by large crowds of protesters and counter-protesters,” she said.Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.last_img read more

Excel boosts label offer

first_imgExcel Labels is offering customers 18 free rolls of labels for every 100 rolls purchased, until the end of June, to mark its 18th birthday.All its labels are guaranteed to be compatible with your weighing equipment, whatever machine you have, whether it be Avery, Brecknell, CAS, Delford, or Toledo.The firm offers a full range of scale labels and promotional stickers, as well as till rolls and transfer ribbons.”We understand that your label is a key communication tool your ’silent salesman’, promoting your products’ quality and value, or highlighting offers,” said the firm. In addition, it can help businesses with point-of-sale design, including shelf card talkers and posters.last_img

Weekly unemployment claims increase at faster pace

first_imgWeek Ending April 18, 2009. There were 1,598 new regular benefit claims for Unemployment Insurance last week, an increase of 160 from the week before. Altogether 18,991 new and continuing claims were filed, 499 more than a week ago and 8,233 more than a year earlier. The Department also processed 2,070 First Tier claims for benefits under Emergency Unemployment Compensation, 2008 (EUC08), 12 more than a week ago. In addition, there were 1,260 Second Tier claims for benefits processed under the EUC08 program which is an increase of 58 from the week before. The Unemployment Weekly Report can be found at: http://www.vtlmi.info/(link is external) Previously released Unemployment Weekly Reports and other UI reports can be found at:  http://www.vtlmi.info/lmipub.htm#uc(link is external)last_img read more

Up to 2 Inches of Rain Possible on Long Island

first_imgSign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York A storm making its way to Long Island has the potential to produce damaging winds and up to 2 inches of rainfall through the evening—and it’s all expected to start just in time for the evening commute.The National Weather Service in Upton has issued a severe thunderstorm watch for Nassau County until 9 p.m. Tuesday night, but Suffolk County is also in store for plenty of rain and rumblings from above.Showers and thunderstorms are currently developing to the west of Long Island and are expected to move across the area in the next few hours, said Joey Picca, meteorologist at the National Weather Service. He said the evening commute “should be pretty rough” and urged drivers to use caution.The best chance for severe weather is in Nassau County, Picca said. Damaging winds and flooding is a possible. Both Nassau and Suffolk counties are under a flash flood watch.“Multiple rounds of showers and thunderstorms will move across the region ahead of a cold front through late [Tuesday night],” the weather service said in statement. “Due to the warm and humid nature of the airmass ahead of the cold front…torrential downpours are likely.”Rainfall amounts could reach up to 2 inches, Picca said.The weather service warned that the storm could flood urbanized and low-lying areas.Picca noted that the weather should improve overnight, but forecasters are still calling for a chance of showers and thunderstorms before 3 p.m. Wednesday in Nassau. Suffolk could see additional stormy weather through the afternoon.Rainfall forecast for Long Island. Forecasters said a strong storm could bring heavy rain and thunderstorms to LI Tuesday. (National Weather Service)Update:: Long Island Rail Road service has been restored following a temporarily suspendsion in both directions on the Far Rockaway Branch east of Valley Stream due to weather-related signal problems.last_img read more

Cuomo should act for good of people

first_imgCuomo is quoted as saying: “For the good of the party, this has to stop.” What about the good of the people? So, is it all a sham and so-called democratic government is really just party politics?Is Simcha Felder the only elected official who says that he’s “loyal to God, my wife and my constituents, and New Yorkers?”  If so, we are headed toward the age of dictatorship and loss of independence. Scary, indeed, especially when the goal of some Democrats seems to be to disrespect our president and nothing more.Theresa PettograssoPattersonvilleMore from The Daily Gazette:Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s press conference for Sunday, Oct. 18Foss: Should main downtown branch of the Schenectady County Public Library reopen?EDITORIAL: Urgent: Today is the last day to complete the censusEDITORIAL: Find a way to get family members into nursing homesCuomo calls for clarity on administering vaccine Categories: Letters to the Editor, Opinion It’s very scary to think that the Independent Democratic Committee was told by Gov. Andrew Cuomo to “unite against President Donald Trump” and to disband its caucus.  All members of the Legislature were elected to represent their constituents in the best way possible, not to be bossed by activists and our governor to do things their way.  How strange that the governor wants to “hold up New York as a bastion of liberalism,” but demands that these people do things his way. It seems to be a stifling return to the days of the Boss Tweed Machine, not liberalism.last_img read more

Germany extends social distancing rules until June 29

first_imgChancellor Angela Merkel originally suggested extending the distancing rules, which require people to stay 1.5 meters apart, until July 5, as the conservative leader is worried about a second wave of cases that could require another costly lockdown.The country’s 16 states have been hit to differing degrees by the coronavirus, and Thuringia in the east, which has had fewer cases, voiced its dissent in separate statement.Germany has seen 8,302 deaths from the coronavirus so far, far fewer than in Italy, Spain, France or Britain, and an initial easing of the measures does not appear to have caused a major spike in cases.A government source said the cabinet may also decide to lift a warning against travel to 26 fellow EU countries plus Britain, Iceland, Norway, Switzerland and Liechtenstein from June 15, opening the way to separate advice for specific regions. Topics : Germany’s government and its state premiers have agreed to extend social distancing rules until June 29 to contain the coronavirus pandemic, a government spokesman said.Tuesday’s deal, confirmed by the spokesman after being revealed to Reuters by a source, follows a dispute over how quickly to ease lockdown measures that have helped Germany weather the outbreak with far fewer deaths than European peers.Under the agreement, public gatherings of up to 10 people would also be allowed from June 6, the government spokesman said.center_img Markus Soeder, premier of Bavaria, the hardest-hit state, voiced opposition to moving too fast in reopening tourism.”We have in Italy, Spain and France completely different infection numbers compared to Germany so I ask the federal government to think very carefully about this,” he said.”Nobody should be fooled. Corona remains deadly,” Soeder said, describing Thuringia state’s shift towards adopting voluntary, localized measures as a “fatal signal”.In a nod to Bavaria’s objections, the cabinet might postpone its decision by a week, but still lift the blanket travel warning from mid-June, media group RND reported.last_img read more

NASA Mars Rocket Launch LIVE

first_imgNASA is sending a rocket to Mars this morning.The Atlas Five rocket will be carrying the Perseverance rover and a small helicopter to Mars.The car-sized robotic rover will search for evidence of past life on the planet, and will take videos and photographs.It also has two microphones, and will be the first spacecraft to record sounds on another planet.The small helicopter is a four-pound ‘Marscopter’ that, if it works, will be the first powered flight on another planet.Liftoff from Cape Canaveral is set for 7:50 Eastern Time this morning and the weather is 80-percent “Go.” Perseverance will land on Mars next February. It follows two earlier launches by China and the United Arab Emirates.All three missions are expected to land on Mars at about the same time.last_img

Gateway Improvements Under Way

first_imgSANDY HOOK – Sandy Hook and Fort Hancock are undergoing positive changes and upgrades that will have a significant effect on the park’s future.Representatives of the National Park Service (NPS) and the Fort Hancock Advisory Committee participated in a Two River Times editorial board meeting on March 24 to discuss developments at Gateway National Recreation Area at Sandy Hook and the Fort Hancock, the former and historic military installation at the park’s northern tip. They joined staff members of The Two River Times to discuss the park’s ongoing Sandy recovery work, other developments and park improvements in the works, along with the hopes of the NPS and its advisory committee concerning the rehabilitation of some of the aging and deteriorating fort structures.“We have our challenges there,” said Jennifer T. Nersesian, superintendent of the NPS Gateway division. Nersesian was talking specifically about the Fort Hancock efforts, but her comments could have been about the entire park as the federal agency continues to work on its infrastructure after it was smacked around by Superstorm Sandy on October 29, 2012, and it works on a viable public/private partnership to renovate and preserve the fort buildings.Joining Nersesian was Peter McCarthy, Sandy Hook unit coordinator; Daphne Yun, a NPS public affairs specialist; and Gerry Glaser, who co-chairs the Fort Hancock 21st Century Advisory Committee, as well as serves as a member of the board of trustees of the Sandy Hook Foundation, the official friends of the park group.The advisory committee has 20 members, made up of various stakeholders, from government education and the private sector. The NPS established the committee in 2012 to investigate ways to hopefully save the aging structures by establishing partnerships that would lead to the restoration of the buildings without necessarily requiring taxpayer dollars.The Park service had sought requests for expressions of interest for a pilot program that would allow six buildings formerly used as officer’s living quarters to be developed for possible for-profit bed and breakfast businesses, residential use and for not-for-profit office space. “There was a very high level of interest,” from parties for the program, Nersesian said, with the park service getting 40 responses, 19 of which were for residential uses.The NPS subsequently has been seeking formal requests for proposals for the six structures, with the deadline for those set for April 17, Nersesian said.“We want to see a real vibrant community out there,” Glaser said. And this pilot program is a means of “testing the waters for what the community would like to see there,” Glaser added.But any agreement would require potential tenants to undertake restoration of the structures to conform to the U.S. Department of Interior historic guidelines. Any costs incurred by the tenants would be taken into consideration in the lease agreements, Nersesian said.Under federal law, lease agreements can be as long as 60 years, she added.Ongoing work for the beach areas include redoing the park’s telecommunications infrastructure and overhauling the sewerage system, both impacted by Sandy, with the sewerage system upgrade expected to take another couple of years to complete, Nersesian and McCarthy said. In addition, the Park service is working on a pre-Sandy project, building another portion of the multi-use paved path that runs most of the length of the approximately seven-mile park and is a popular feature for joggers, walkers and cyclists.Work is underway on repairing the boardwalk that runs through the park’s 64-acre maritime holly forest. And plans are in the works to repair and adapt the park’s Sandy-damaged History House site to better withstand storms. “This is not just about fix it and get it up quick,” but to prepare it for the long-term use, Nersesian said.Sandy Hook had sustained considerable damage from Sandy, battering structures and infrastructure along with eroding the beach areas, as the park was hit with as much as 13-foot tidal surges, park representatives and federal officials said at the time. Despite the damage, most of the park was sufficiently repaired and open and available to the public by May 2013.For the summer there will again be commuter ferry services from New York City to the park, provided by SeaStreak, and the Park’s camping grounds will be available from mid-April to Sept. 30. The bicycle rental service will again be on-site for this summer season, according to McCarthy.For the next two summers, however, park visitors will have to again settle for food vendor trucks, McCarthy said. Work is continuing on the buildings that had housed the now-defunct Sea Gulls’ Nest restaurant and bar and the other food serve areas damaged by Sandy. But the NPS is working on a plan for its future use, McCarthy said.Another change park visitors could see is an increase in parking fees in 2017. For the season running from Memorial Day to Labor Day, daily parking is proposed to increase from $15 to $20, and seasonal parking $75 to $100.Local, state and federal lawmakers had been critical of the fee hike, but Nersesian insisted the fees are competitive with other area beach costs.Gateway National Recreation Area at Sandy Hook is situated on a barrier island in Middletown, separating Sandy Hook Bay on its west and Atlantic Ocean on the eastern coast. It became a federal park in the 1972 when Congress established the Gateway National Recreation Area, making it one of three locations in the New York/New Jersey region providing recreational opportunities for largely urban areas.McCarthy has said previously the park gets approximately 2.2 million visitors a year, with roughly 2 million coming between Memorial and Labor Day. –By John Burtonlast_img read more

Middletown Township Salutes All Veterans

first_imgPhotos by Alex Nazath MIDDLETOWN – The township’s vibrant 62nd Annual Veterans Day Parade was held Sunday, Nov. 3, starting at the Bayview School in Leonardo and winding through the “Showcase Corridor” of Campbell’s Junction before working its way back to VFW Post 2179 in Port Monmouth. Immediately following the parade there was a “Middletown Supports all Veterans” lunch and military display.last_img