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3 Food Bills That Just Might Become Law

As the saying goes, “all politics is local.” That’s why grassroots advocacy is so important.

Last week, we were honored to take part in Local Foods Awareness Day at the Texas Capitol, hosted by our friends at the Farm and Ranch Freedom Alliance (FARFA). We covered a lot of ground! Dozens of farmers, ranchers, food entrepreneurs, and farmers’ market managers from across the state met with our State Representatives and Senators to urge passage of bills that will strengthen the local food system in Texas.

Heading into the home stretch of the 86th Legislative Session, more of our priority bills are still standing than in any Session in recent memory. Here are just a few of the bills that have a real shot at becoming law in the next three weeks:

Cottage Foods

Both the House and Senate have passed bills that will improve the state’s Cottage Food Law by expanding the products that farmers and food artisans can sell without obtaining a permit. Once both chambers reconcile the two bills, the final version will be sent to Governor Abbott, who we expect to sign the bill into law.

Farmers Market Permit Fee Cap

Senate Bill 932, which caps the fees that local regulators can charge farmers to participate in farmers markets, passed the Senate and has been approved by the House Public Health Committee.

Despite opposition from some of the most powerful and well-resourced entities in the state, a bipartisan coalition of lawmakers in both chambers have signaled support for the bill, which passed the Senate 31-0.

The bill was passed 10-0 by the House Public Health Committee and could pass the full House of Representatives as early as next week.

SNAP Incentives

Senate Bill 1834, which would empower the state’s Health and Human Services Commission to study and pursue federal funding for SNAP Incentive Programs, passed the Senate 26-4 and is now waiting to get voted out of the House Human Services Committee.

The bill’s House companion (House Bill 3541) was voted out of committee 10-0. Despite this broad support, we’re leaving nothing to chance and are urging committee members to send Senate Bill 1834 to the full house as soon as possible.

We’ll keep you updated on SFC’s priority bills throughout the remainder of the Legislative Session, but also encourage you to check-out FARFA’s Bill Tracker, which provides updates on a wide range of bills having to do with food and agriculture currently being considered by the legislature.