Assemblymember Lackey (R –Palmdale), introduced AB 2415 which would extend the exemption for agricultural vehicles from the BIT program until January 1, 2026. The BIT program requires certain motor carriers to submit their vehicles to CHP inspection at the place where the vehicles are garaged or maintained. The original legislation, introduced in 2016, excluded an agricultural vehicle from being subject to the BIT program, and defined agricultural vehicle to mean a vehicle or combination of vehicles with a gross combination weight rating or a gross vehicle weight rating of 26,000 pounds or less, including that the vehicle is operated by certain individuals and is used exclusively in the conduct of agricultural operations when operating in commerce. The bill also required the Department of the California Highway Patrol, in consultation with the Department of Motor Vehicles, to report to the governor and the Legislature about the impact of excluding agricultural vehicles from the BIT program before January 1, 2022. Due to delays, this report has not been filed by CHP. This Cattlemen’s sponsored bill would extend the agricultural exemption from BIT by three years –until January 1, 2026. This will provide the Legislature and stakeholders the opportunity to address any concerns CHP may identify regarding the exemption; if no significant concerns exist, this extended sunset provides time for later legislation to make the agricultural vehicle exemption permanent. Farm Bureau supports this bill as it is set to be heard on April 25 in the Assembly Transportation Committee.

Last month, CAFB joined a large coalition to support AB 2406 (Aguiar-Curry–D). This bill would prohibit an intermodal marine equipment provider from imposing per diem, detention, or demurrage charges on an intermodal motor carrier and beneficial cargo owners. Under ordinary circumstances, these fees are designed to encourage the efficient use of containers. However, during our recent and ongoing port congestion crisis, late charges have been imposed on California businesses by international ocean carriers even when containers cannot be returned due to circumstances not within the control of the importer, exporter or trucker. While detention and demurrage fees have increased across the globe, ocean carriers are charging two to ten times the fees in Los Angeles and Long Beach versus other major ports worldwide. The bill would help alleviate the pressure that these fees put on California businesses and attempt to address one of the many issues facing our ports.  

AB 2836 by Assemblymember Eduardo Garcia (D-Coachella) will be heard in the Assembly Natural Resources Committee on Monday. This bill would extend the current authorization for the Carl Moyer Program to fund a broader range of projects that reduce emissions from covered sources until January 1, 2033. The Carl Moyer Program provides incentives to private businesses and public agencies to voluntarily clean up older, dirtier vehicles and mobile off-road engines through retrofit or replacement. It provides funding to reduce particulate pollution and NOx, which contributes to smog formation and cleans up on-road, off-road, marine, locomotive, stationary agricultural pumps and farm equipment engines. Farm Bureau has joined a large coalition of agricultural stakeholders to support this measure.