Agriculture is dependent on a sound transportation system to move materials and products to and from farm and market.
Michigan’s road and highway maintenance budgets have regularly seen funding short-falls over the last several years despite legislative efforts in 2015, and these funding deficiencies are growing due to the rising maintenance costs coupled with increases in automotive fuel economy. Michigan Farm Bureau believes having adequate road funding should remain a high priority for the state. All transportation expenditures must be examined to achieve the best and most efficient use of transportation funding.
We support PA 51 of 1951 and the principle of a legislated distribution of the Michigan Transportation Fund (MTF). We support the following PA 51 changes:
While maintaining safe bridge structures, increased costs to meet Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy and Department of Natural Resources specifications should be paid for by the respective State agency, or the requirement for the project waived.
We support the continuation of permanent trailer license plates without additional fees, and allowing these plates to be transferred.
We support specialty license plates and allowing their use on agri-business and commercial vehicles.
We support the current Michigan per axle weight limits for trucks on state highways. These axle limits should be extended and consistently applied on all county roads. Due to changes in moisture and weights on farm commodities, it can be very difficult to determine if the legal weight limits are being met when loading from the field or farm. We support up to a 10 percent exemption on load limits, or up to a 20 percent tolerance over the legal weight limit on axles provided the vehicle is at or below its legal gross weight, for all farm and forestry commodities loaded out of the field or farm storage.
We support trailers of common dimensional size, which are currently legal on Class A roads, be allowed to operate on all roads.
We encourage Farm Bureau to monitor future developments in autonomous vehicles and regulation regarding their use.