Governor Vetoes Interstate Travel Ban Exemption for Milk Haulers


Milk haulers across Pennsylvania will have to cross their fingers this winter now that Gov. Tom Wolf has vetoed a bill that would have exempted milk trucks from interstate travel bans during inclement weather.

House Bill 915 was introduced by House Agriculture and Rural Affairs Committee Chairman Martin Causer after emergency weather declarations were issued three time last winter, shutting down parts of the state’s interstate highways.

In introducing the bill, Causer said banning milk haulers from the interstates will cause a loss of income to already struggling dairy farmers.

“Dairy cows continue to produce milk no matter the weather,” Causer said in a statement. “Without any way to get their milk picked up and delivered to market, farmers may have no choice but to dump it, and that is the last thing our struggling dairy producers need.”

The governor’s veto means that in the event of interstate closings, farmers could be left holding thousands of gallons of milk that cannot be sold.

State Sen. Judy Ward said Wolf’s veto makes it even harder for struggling dairy farmers to earn a living.

“At a time when our dairy industry is already facing serious challenges, it is disappointing that Gov. Wolf has made a choice that makes it even harder on the industry to get their products to market,” Ward said.

Ward said the bill was well thought out and struck a balance between public safety and getting milk to market.

“Milk haulers are some of the most experienced drivers on the road and are accustomed to driving in inclement weather,” she said. “It is disheartening that with all the bills signed into law this week to help farmers that this was not included.”

State Rep. Jim Gregory said the governor’s veto dismisses the fact that milk is a time sensitive product.

“Cows don’t stop producing milk when it snows,” he said. “By prohibiting the dairy industry from transporting its products, the governor is essentially telling farmers to pour profits down the drain.”


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