Oversize vehicle permit extension advanced

Permits to haul overweight and overlength loads of grain, sugar beets and other seasonally harvested products would last longer under a bill advanced from general file March 28.

LB35, introduced by Scottsbluff Sen. John Harms, would increase to 200 days the renewal maximum for a state Department of Roads overweight or overlength permit. Currently, such permits may be purchased for 30 or 60 days and renewed for a maximum of 120 days per year.

Harms said Nebraska’s sugar beet harvest frequently lasts longer than 120 days and that failing to extend the permit period would result in unprocessed crops.

“This change would especially help the sugar beet industry,” he said.

Sen. Mark Christensen of Imperial supported the bill, saying farmers need more time to haul beets to processing locations before the crop freezes.

“This is a very important bill for the sugar beet industry,” he said. “Farmers are racing against the clock.”

A Transportation and Telecommunications Committee amendment, adopted 34-0, would increase the maximum renewal period to 210 days. Valentine Sen. Deb Fischer said the change would maintain the renewal period increment of 30 days, which is compatible with the department’s electronic permit system.

Senators advanced LB35 on a 34-0 vote.

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