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Indiana House passes corn checkoff 84-12
BY LINDA McGURK Indiana Correspondent COVINGTON, Ind. – The proposed Indiana corn checkoff is one step closer to being signed into law, after the state House of Representatives voted 84-12 to support it on April 10. But the House voted on a somewhat different version of the checkoff than the state Senate, since Senate Bill 158, originally introduced by Sen. Beverly Gard (R-Greenfield), was killed in the House Rules Committee. Instead, Representative F. Dale Grubb (D-Covington) crafted a new version of the checkoff program and included it in an amendment that was attached to Senate Bill 250. “(The original bill) was perceived as being too onerous for the average farmer,” he said. “I tried to create something that everybody can live with.” SB 250 sets the checkoff to .25 cents per bushel, a reduction from the original .5 cents. The bill also makes it easier for farmers to request a refund, since it requires the elevators to supply a refund application together with the settlement sheet. “If you don’t like it, all you have to do is put a 39-cent stamp on it and drop it in the mail,” Grubb said. Another change is that SB 250 doesn’t call for a referendum on the checkoff – instead, producers would “vote” with their refunds. Beginning Oct. 1, 2009, if the refunds exceed 25 percent of the total funds collected in a marketing year, the checkoff legislation will automatically be repealed. The new version of the law also tweaked the makeup of the Indiana Corn Marketing Council, reducing the number of members from 10 to 9. The Indiana Corn Growers Association (ICGA) “is pleased to see the legislation move forward,” said president Matt Gibson