|Posted:||March 15, 2017 03:39 PM|
|From:||Senator Judith L. Schwank and Sen. Elder A. Vogel, Jr.|
|To:||All Senate members|
|Subject:||Grain Dealer Bonding Act|
|Currently, Pennsylvania has no regulations requiring grain dealers provide any indemnification coverage. I have recently learned of two Berks County farmers who lost thousands of dollars when the dealer that they enlisted to sell their grain went out of business.
In order to protect farmers from poorly funded dealers, I plan to introduce legislation requiring brokers as well as dealers who take actual possession of grain, to obtain a bond thus ensuring surety for financial loss caused by the act or default of the dealer/broker. Small dealers (less than 5000 bushels annually) and farmers feeding grain to livestock and poultry would be exempt. Several states offer similar safeguards, and Pennsylvania’s lack of protection not only exposes its grain farmers to financial loss, but it also limits farmers in surrounding states from wanting to do business in Pennsylvania.
The bill provides for civil remedies for producers, including action against the dealer’s bond, injunctive relief and civil penalties of up to $500 per day for each day of violation, as well as recovery of attorneys’ fees. It also provides for criminal penalties (Misdemeanor 3rd degree) for violations of some of its provisions.
Introduced as SB632