Bill renewal eases burden on dairy industry
President Obama signed a renewal of the $305 billion National Highway Bill just hours before it was set to expire. Contained in the legislation is an amendment, inserted by a House-Senate conference committee, that allows milk haulers to increase their truck weights beyond Interstate Highway System limits.
Championed by both milk producers and processors, the exemption will allow milk trucks in some states to carry more product without being forced to offload portions of it at other state borders. Lawmakers from both parties supported the measure.
“This amendment recognizes the specific challenges in transporting milk,” says Jim Mulhern, president and CEO of the National Milk Producers Federation. “It’s great to see bipartisan support for something so critical to our dairy producers.”
Connie Tipton, president and CEO of the International Dairy Foods Association, says the measure means fewer vehicles will be needed to move milk, cutting transportation costs.