Out-going Governor Tom Vilsack says it’s time to change state law governing how heavy trucks carrying grain on Iowa roads can be.
Iowa’s governor currently has the authority — once a year — to issue an executive order declaring a 30-day period during which the weight limits for trucks on Iowa roads can be lifted. “It’s an important thing to do and rather than having the governor decide arbitrarily that it should begin September 15th, or September 10th or September 1st, I think it would be better for the legislature to just consider establishing a time period…and say that’s it, unless there’s really some kind of super emergency, that would be it,” Vilsack says.
The finances of farmers and truckers are being pinched by record-high diesel fuel prices and Vilsack hasn’t yet decided when that 30-day period for hauling heavier loads will fall. “I want to make sure that when we do this that we do it in a 30-day period that makes the most sense for as many people as possible,” Vilsack says.
While Vilsack prepares to issue his executive order this fall covering that 30-day period, a state law establishing an annual period for heavier loads on Iowa roads can’t be enacted until the Iowa Legislature re-convenes and Iowa inaugurates a successor to Vilsack next January.
Vilsack made his comments Monday at the North Central Cooperative in Holmes, a small town in Wright County. As Vilsack spoke to a crowd of about two dozen area residents, two truckers with semi-trailers pulled onto the co-op’s scales to weigh their loads.