Two Local Food Bills Scheduled for Public Hearing

Public Health Committee to consider HB 46 and HB 910 on Wednesday

Two bills that are of particular interest to people involved in the local food movement will have a hearing before the Texas House Public Health Committee on Wednesday, Feb. 27 at 8am.

HB 46, sponsored by Rep. Dan Flynn (R-Canton) would allow licensed dairy farmers to sell raw milk at farmers' markets and fairs, as well as provide home delivery or other delivery arrangements for their customers. Although consuming raw milk is legal in Texas, regulations that require customers to buy it at the farm where it was produced impose hardships on both small dairy farmers and consumers and this bill would rectify that.

Rep. Lois Kolkhorst (R-Brenham)is the sponsor of HB 910, which would cap the permit fess that could be imposed on farmers and farmers' market vendors at $50 per year, per county of city. This bill will help to make participation in multiple farmers' markets in one municipality financially feasible for vendors. It was co-authored by Rep. Eddie Rodriguez (D - Austin), chair of the Texas Legislature's bipartisan Farm-to-Table Caucus, the first of its kind in the country.

“The demand for raw milk and locally produced foods is growing by leaps and bounds," explained Judith McGeary, Executive Director of the Farm and Ranch Freedom Alliance, a nonprofit that advocates for both farmers and consumers. "Small farms and food vendors selling directly to consumers at venues such as farmers' markets should not be hampered by regulations designed by and for the large corporations that dominate our food system. We appreciate Representatives Flynn and Kolkhorst, and all of their co-authors, for taking steps to restore common sense to the regulations."

If better, more affordable access to local food is a priority in your household, let your local representative know that you support these bills.

Sign up for the Chronicle Cooking newsletter

New recipes and food news delivered Mondays

If you want to submit a recipe, send it to food@austinchronicle.com

A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for almost 40 years, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. If real news is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or whatever you can afford, to help keep our journalism on stands.

Support the Chronicle  

READ MORE
More Food Legislation before the Texas House of Representatives
Taste Test
Taste Test
Farmers market food sampling bill passes Texas House

Anna Toon, May 13, 2013

Straight From the Source
Straight From the Source
Texas Medical Association challenges HB 46

Anna Toon, April 10, 2013

More by Virginia B. Wood
Top 10 Savory Bites
Top 10 Savory Bites

Jan. 1, 2016

Open Secret
Open Secret
The not-so-hidden pleasures of dine

Dec. 25, 2015

KEYWORDS FOR THIS POST

Food Legislation before the Texas House of Representatives, Re. Dan Flynn (R- Canton), Rep. Lois Kolkhorst (R. Brenham), HB 46, HB 910, raw milk, farmers' market fees, Eddie Rodriguez(D-Austin), Judith McGeary, Farm and Ranch Freedom Alliance, FARFA

MORE IN THE ARCHIVES
NEWSLETTERS
One click gets you all the newsletters listed below

Breaking news, arts coverage, and daily events

Can't keep up with happenings around town? We can help.

Austin's queerest news and events

New recipes and food news delivered Mondays

All questions answered (satisfaction not guaranteed)

Information is power. Support the free press, so we can support Austin.   Support the Chronicle