Animal transport weight exceptions passed

Certain agricultural vehicles are exempt from weight and load limitations under a bill passed by the Legislature April 12.

LB977, introduced by Papillion Sen. Jim Smith, exempts implements of animal husbandry—such as tractors, fertilizer spreaders and mixer-feed trucks—from weight and load limitations on Nebraska highways. The exemption does not apply to vehicles on the interstate or in any instance where such an implement crosses a bridge or culvert.

The bill incorporates provisions of LB996, originally introduced by Henderson Sen. Curt Friesen, which excludes vehicle manufacturers that own or operate two or fewer dealerships in Nebraska, have owned or operated a warranty repair or service facility as of Jan. 1, 2016, and manufacture engines installed in vehicles with a gross weight rating of more than 16,000 pounds from owning an interest in, operating or controlling a franchise, franchisee or consumer care facility.

LB977 also incorporates provisions of six additional bills, including:
• LB799, originally introduced by Lincoln Sen. Kate Bolz, which authorizes the use of funds collected under the Nebraska Transportation Act to be used for the purchase, replacement or rebuilding of public transportation vehicles;
• LB844, originally introduced by Lincoln Sen. Patty Pansing Brooks, which creates a breast cancer awareness license plate to be available Jan. 1, 2017;
• LB872, originally introduced by Gretna Sen. John Murante, which allows vehicles operated by the state Department of Roads, as well as local authorities, to use blue and amber flashing lights when engaged in the inspection, construction, repair or maintenance of highways;
• LB918, introduced by Murante, which retains 1 percent of proceeds from the motor vehicle tax to fund the replacement and ongoing maintenance of a state vehicle title and registration system;
• LB946, introduced by Smith, which authorizes the chair of the Motor Vehicle Industry Licensing Board to modify, approve or reject any board action in which a controlling number of board members are active participants in the relevant market; and
• LB989, introduced by Murante, which decreases from 500 to 250 the number of prepaid applications required to issue a qualified organization’s specialty license plate and allows for electronic renewal and replacement of commercial driver licenses.

The bill passed on a 49-0 vote.

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