SIOUX FALLS – The South Dakota Corn Growers Association (SDCGA) is optimistic that a rail reform bill will become law and improve procedures for arbitration and rate cases.
The U.S. Senate approved the bill by unanimous consent June 19 and sent it to the U.S. House. Sen. John Thune (R-S.D.) was the lead sponsor of S. 808, the Surface Transportation Board Reauthorization Act of 2015. Thune followed up with a roundtable discussion with agricultural leaders June 29 at the South Dakota Corn office in Sioux Falls.
The legislation would expand the board from three members to five, enhance the board’s ability to address rail issues as they arise, streamline rate case procedures, and create an alternative dispute resolution process.
“Rail is South Dakota’s gateway to global markets. We’re grateful to Sen. Thune for addressing the rail concerns shared by everyone involved with agriculture, the state’s No. 1 industry,” SDCGA President Keith Alverson said. “We’re confident that members of the House will realize the importance of this legislation and take swift action in giving their approval.”
Last year, South Dakota grain elevators, ethanol plants and farmers had to deal with a backlog of railcars and rising rail service charges.
The South Dakota Corn Growers Association, one of the largest commodity groups in the state, promotes corn, represents corn producers on public policy issues and serves as a legislative voice.