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Legislative News and Views - Rep. Dave Baker (R)

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Thursday, November 2, 2017

WILLMAR, MN—Rep. Dave Baker, R-Willmar, and House Republicans are applauding Governor Dayton for taking action to keep propane supplies moving to the point of demand for home heating and grain drying this harvest season.

Members of the GOP Rural Caucus on Wednesday co-signed a letter to Gov. Mark Dayton, requesting that he issue an executive order temporarily waiving hours of service regulations for transporters of propane and anhydrous ammonia. The governor issued a similar order in 2013, when late-maturing crops and other factors teamed to choke the propane supply chain that fall.

The Governor issued Emergency Executive Order 17-11 late Wednesday evening which eases regulations on hours of service "for motor carriers and drivers providing direct assistance in emergency relief efforts." According to a press release from the Governor's office, the Executive Order "will help ensure farmers have access to the diesel fuel and propane they need to dry late-harvested crops."

“Thank you to Governor Dayton for his swift response to our letter, and for helping farmers rest easy knowing they’ll have access to fuel at this critical time,” said Baker.

This year’s situation does not appear as dire, but several constituents reported that shortages in surrounding states are causing dealers to turn to Minnesota for supplies, straining our state’s resources. Haulers have had to wait in line for up to six hours to load their trucks, time which cuts into their allotted hours of service behind the wheel.

The Executive Order remains in effect for 30 days, or "until the commercial motor carrier or drivers ceases direct assistance in providing energy relief, whichever occurs first," and may be extended in the future.