Iowa Governor Refuses Emergency Weight Limit Increase

March 3, 2000

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While trucking interests in some other states want a rollback on fuel taxes to alleviate the high fuel price situation, in Iowa, they're asking to be able to haul heavier loads to help earn more revenue to offset higher fuel costs. But the governor isn't going for it.

Republican legislators last week asked Gov. Tom Vilsack to raise the maximum weight limit from 80,000 pounds to 90,000 pounds for four months or until fuel prices come down. Federal law permits the governor to issue executive orders to suspend weight limitations in times of emergency.
Saturday, Vilsack said would not declare a state of emergency, reported the Associated Press. "While the increasing price of fuel is troublesome for all Iowans, rising fuel prices are not an issue that affects only the state of Iowa. It is national problem and the solution to this problem cannot be accomplished
at the state level alone," Vilsack said. "I am sending a letter to President Clinton asking him to release the oil reserves. This move should help reduce the cost of fuel."
Legislators may consider a bill to phase in an increase of the weight limit on trucks.
The legislators point out that with 80% of the trucking companies operating six or fewer trucks, the measure would help small businesses, as well as the state's farmer who rely on heavy truck use in the spring.

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