CONGRESSWOMAN ELISE STEFANIK
On Wednesday, September 19, the House is scheduled to consider H.R. 3110, the Grape Region Accelerated Production and Efficiency (GRAPE) Act of 2011, under a suspension of the rules, requiring a two-thirds majority for passage. This legislation was introduced by Rep. Tom Reed (R-NY) on October 5, 2011, and referred to the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure.
H.R. 3110 would exempt drivers from federal maximum driving and on-duty motor carrier regulations if they are transporting grapes during a harvest period and limited to an area within a 175 air mile radius from the location where the grapes are picked or distributed.
According to the bill’s sponsor, grape haulers currently enjoy an Hours of Service exemption if they are transporting grapes within a 100 air mile radius of the location where the grapes are harvested or processed during a harvest period. The grape industry is vital to Western New York, which Rep. Reed represents. Extending the requirement from 100 to 175 air miles will allow growers to transport their product from the Finger Lakes to the processing facilities downstate and along Lake Erie.
There was no Congressional Budget Office (CBO) cost estimate available for this bill.