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Minutes for HB2160 - Committee on Agriculture and Natural Resources

Short Title

Exempting the transport of cotton bales from the secured load requirements under certain conditions.

Minutes Content for Tue, Feb 14, 2023

Chair Rahjes opened the hearing on HB2160.  Kyle Hamilton, Office of the Revisor of Statutes, provided a briefing about HB2160 and stood for questions.(Attachment 6)

Shahira Stafford, Kansas Cooperative Council (KCC) stood in support of the bill that would exempt the transport of cotton bales from secured load requirements under certain conditions.  In 10 years, the acres planted in cotton has grown from 27,000 acres to 195,000 acres.  In late 2021 there was an uptick in the number of citations that carriers and farmers received for the enforcement of securing cotton bales on the way to gins.  This bill would standardize specific rules for round cotton bales within a specific range from the field to the gin.(Attachment 7)  She stood for questions.

John Donley, Kansas Farm Bureau, noted that the Kansas Highway Patrol and KCC worked together to find a solution to securing the cotton bales and to ensure the language did not harm federal transportation funding.(Attachment 8)  He stood for questions. 

Dan Metz, Chair of Southern Kansas Cotton Growers Cooperative provided information about the types of cotton hauling equipment that assures secure hauling of bales.  He stood in favor of the bill and stood for questions.(Attachment 9)

Mike Hoeme, Director of Transportation, Kansas Corporation Commission, stood in opposition to the bill.  He explained that the issue was commercial carriers and the negative impact of non-compliance with both state and federal regulations if commercial carriers were included in the bill. He said that if an amendment excluding carriers from the bill was approved, the KCC would be Neutral on the bill.(Attachment 10)  He stood for questions. 

Colonel Herman T. Jones, Kansas Highway Patrol provided written opponent testimony.(Attachment 11)

The Chair closed the hearing on HB2160.

Representative Jim Minnix asked for a Point of Personal Privilege.  He stated that the conferee during the Kansas Healthy Food Initiative, Donna Pearson McClish, had been nominated by K-State Research and Extension as a Kansas Master Homemaker for the Class of 2022.  She and her brother are continuing the legacy that was established by their parents fifty-four years ago.