Representative Hernandez praises local farmers in wildfire relief efforts

Categories: Hernandez News

Representative Shane Hernandez is proud to assist Michigan farmers who have generously come to the aid of ranchers in Texas, Oklahoma, and Kansas where wildfires have devastated approximately 1.1 million acres of ranch land creating a state of emergency for cattle ranchers.

“The efforts of these local farmers were brought to our attention when a constituent taking part in the relief operation contacted our office asking for help in getting permit fees waived to transport hay and other donated items through Indiana, Illinois, and Missouri,” said Hernandez, “The compassion Michigan farmers have shown during this crisis is truly inspiring. Our office immediately started making calls to see if we could assist in this wonderful effort”

The National Interagency Fire Center reports that since January 1st, 2017 wildfires have already consumed 9 times as many acres as that of the last 10-year average. These wildfires have prompted Texas Governor Gregg Abbott as well as Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin to declare a state of emergency in both states. As a result of this cooperative effort between the office of Representative Hernandez, the office of Texas Governor Abbott and the States of Indiana, Illinois, and Missouri, permit fees have been waived for Michigan farmers participating in the relief efforts.

“I’d like to thank our local farmers for their outstanding generosity, and thank the state officials of Indiana, Missouri, and Illinois for working with us on this issue,” said Hernandez, “I would also like to thank Texas Governor Gregg Abbot, who’s office was extremely helpful in assisting in these efforts. With these fees waived, our local farmers will be able to increase their efforts in providing relief to the areas affected by the wildfires.”

Farmers desiring to transport hay to the impacted region may follow these instructions to secure free permits:

Indiana— Download and print out both forms M-203 and M-233 from: http://www.in.gov/dor/4195.htm If you do not have a DOT number, specify ‘sole proprietor’ as the business type and use your social security number in lieu of the EIN number. If you do have a DOT number, your business type should match your DOT information. If you have any questions, call James Vest at (317) 615-7247 or Stephanie Bailey at (317) 615-7247 with the Indiana Department of Revenue Motor Carrier Services
division. You will receive a permit faxed back to you free of charge.

If you do not have a fax number to receive incoming faxes, Representative Shane Hernandez’s office would be happy to receive the fax and forward it to you via e-mail. Please specify our office fax number of (517) 373-9876 as the fax number on your application, and call our office at (517) 373-0835 or send an e-mail to ShaneHernandez@house.mi.gov to inform our staff of your e-mail address.

Illinois— The Illinois Department of Revenue “Emergency Waiver of IFTA Registration Regarding Texas Wild Fires” notice dated March 17th, 2017 has been communicated to the state’s law enforcement officers via the LEADS (Law Enforcement Automated Data System). It indicates that:

“Effective March 17, 2017 through April 30, 2017, a qualified commercial motor vehicle traveling within the State of Illinois that is stopped or otherwise detained by order of a State or Local Law Enforcement Officer, or other lawful authority, and which is found to be operating without registration under the Illinois Motor Fuel Use Tax Act, or without a single trip permit, shall not be ticketed or otherwise penalized for such violation if the operator of the vehicle can provide proof that the destination of the vehicle is to a point within the wildfire areas declared by the Governor of Texas, or that the vehicle’s destination is to a point outside the State of Illinois and the vehicle’s last destination was within the wildfire area.”

Our office recommends having a copy of that notice in the vehicle to avoid any possible confusion in the event of a traffic stop. You may download it at: http://bit.do/illinoisconvoy

Missouri— E-mail a list of trucks with their license plate numbers and both the owner and driver’s names and contact information to the contacts below at the Missouri Motor Carrier Services department. Indicate that you are providing relief to the panhandle wildfire disaster and are requesting a waiver letter. You will receive back an e-mail with a letter waiving the need to purchase motor vehicle registration and fuel tax permits while traveling through Missouri. Keep a copy of this letter in the vehicle. If you have any questions, call Tara Spencer at (573) 522-5289.

Joy Prenger; michael.prenger@modot.mo.gov

DeAnne Rickabaugh; deanne.rickabaugh@modot.mo.gov

Tara Spencer; tara.spencer@modot.mo.gov

Farmers wishing to donate hay locally may take it to these drop-off locations;

Brown City Elevator                              Farmer Jahns Feed & Seed
4185 Main St.                                       5344 Peck Rd
Brown City, MI 48416                           Croswell, MI 48422
(810) 346-2895                                     (810) 679-2274

Additional drop-off locations across the state, as well as updates on everyone’s efforts can be found on the Facebook group “Michigan Convoy” by visiting: https://www.facebook.com/groups/406698383026776


Necessary forms and documents can be found here;

Illinois- Disaster Relief For Credentials Waiver TX Wildfires March 2017

Indiana form M-203

Indiana Form M-233