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South Dakota Passes Fine Increases for Unlicensed, Insolvent Grain Buyers

Supporters say current fines don’t deter illegal activity


South Dakota state lawmakers are passing bills that increase penalties on unlicensed grain buyers.

Supporters of the bills say the current fines don’t deter illegal activity reports South Dakota Public Broadcasting.

The trio of bills will give the Public Utilities Commission a greater hold on unlicensed grain warehouses and brokers, as well as elevators lacking financial solvency.

The bills come after farmers have gone unpaid for grain they’ve taken to market.

One bill increases the civil fine against warehouse operators from $1,000 to $5,000 dollars a day, for a maximum of $50,000.

That bill also increases fines against grain buyers who don’t open their books to the public utilities commission up to $20,000.

Another bill would create a Class 5 misdemeanor for any broker who sets up a transaction between a farmer and an unlicensed buyer.

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