During the 2019 Legislative Session, GNDC promoted the passage of permanent trailer plate registration. Representative Corey Mock
was the main carrier of this bill.
GNDC sat down with Rep. Mock
to discuss the details on this particular bill.
GNDC: How did you get involved to sponsor the legislation on permanent trailer plates?
Representative Mock: I grew up around commercial truck driving. My dad was an over-the-road truck driver, so I’ve always been familiar with the challenges that face the industry. I’ve met with trucking industry leaders. I asked about their current and potential challenges that are impacting transportation. One of the most significant concerns that continued to arise, more than anything else, was having permanent trailer plate registration in North Dakota. They are aware that this option exists in many other states. It had become easier to move their registration out-of-state because of the convenience. They expressed interest in repatriating those registrations back to North Dakota if there was a solution. We began conversations with NDDOT and others, began research efforts, spoke with the transportation committee chairman to build buy-in and worked out the potential logistics. What resulted from that was a bill that met the needs and provided a solution to the headaches that were expressed by the industry.
How will this impact ND from a business perspective?
If you are involved in shipping and logistics, this is one additional option for registering your fleet. You can still register annually if that’s something you want, but having a permanent license is huge for companies. To buy one state-issued registration for $120, which lasts for the life of that trailer, is one last logistical, bureaucratical item that you have on your administrative plate. It lightens the load, making it easier to do business in the state and encourages businesses regardless of their location to keep ND as an option to register their commercial trailers.
Similar bills have failed in the past, what about this effort made this different?
The big part was we started early in engaging in everybody: industry, NDDOT, Association of Counties, legislators in both House and Senate, the transportation committees, and previous bill sponsors. We spoke directly with companies and had them reach out to their legislators. We shared the stories. The one part that really drove this above all else is that we came into this with survey data and registration data from ND and from other states that showed we were losing business. That any fiscal concern that a permanent, lifetime registration could mean a loss was unfounded. We were actually losing more registrations because the option existed in other states for the industry. Companies were electing to register elsewhere knowing that the vehicle/trailer may never once enter that state’s boundaries. That was an opportunity lost for North Dakota. We came in with the data, we showed that there were businesses registering elsewhere yet wanted to repatriate, that this was a win for everybody. We got the Executive Branch and legislators onboard and across the finish line. What does this mean for your constituents?
We have several trucking companies in our community. It’s a big win for them, it makes their lives easier. We worked specifically with Britton Transport in Grand Forks to develop this legislation. They provided a lot of input. It’s nice knowing that we’re supporting specific businesses that live and operate in our community. I drive by several of their employees every day on my way to work. They are parking their vehicles at their homes and I know that even if they, themselves weren’t out there affixing tags, putting forth the registration information, paying the fees, the company is better off for it and that the efforts are appreciated. Personally, it’s nice knowing that we identified a problem and solved it; not every problem can or should be solved with legislation. This was a case that could be. We brought a bipartisan coalition together to make it happen. It was done very seamlessly and was a great effort by everybody. It was a feelgood moment for me. It instills trust and restores confidence in the legislative process. Government can do good things. You introduced a bill for public benefit corporations, share about this.
This past session was my second attempt at this type of legislation, I liked this version prior to other work. Representative Klemin had also worked on this in the past. We merged forces a bit. I’m on a national task force with the Council of State Governments. We are looking at the future of work. We are seeing a growing trend in corporations and for-profit business wanting to be responsive to the needs of their communities, to listen to their stakeholders, not just their shareholders, but their stakeholders including vendors, communities, distributors, their environment, their clientele, etc. This results in a deeper impact, evaluating that with their bottom line. There are a lot of companies and investors out there who want to do more than just give or make money, they want to do good with that as well. I’m a firm believer in public benefit corporations. I have a constituent who reached out to me and said that he has been wanting to form a public benefit corporation in North Dakota. He’s young enough and transient enough that there’s a lot of forces pulling him outside of North Dakota but he loves the state and has family here. He wants to stay. This would help him start his business and be successful while remaining a resident. I’d already been working on this but it really drove it home for me. We’ve been including him in the efforts. What are you working on right now in the interim?
Public benefit corporations are high on my list and want to see a win in 2020 as it matters to several individuals. I see ND as a leader in the country for business development and putting forth effort in that category will further solidify our status.