Thanksgiving from Rep. Rohrkaste!
In previous e-updates I have spoken about
legislation that I am working on in Madison. Currently, I have two
bills in committee and am working on several more that will be released at
the start of the New Year. My colleagues and I on the Speaker's Task
Force on Alzheimer's and Dementia will also be producing several pieces of
legislation which we hope will help both caregivers and those living with
Assembly Bill 417, allows for the
limited face-to-face sale of non-hazardous homemade baked and canned foods
without a licensing requirement by a person who receives less than $7,500
per year in sales. The bill requires that you still register with
the Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection (DATCP) and comply with requirements concerning training, labeling, signage,
and documenting sales.
Wisconsin is one of very few states which doesn't have some form of "cottage
food" law, allowing cooks to sell food products made in their homes
without a special license. In fact, Wisconsin has some of the most
restrictive cottage food laws in the entire country. Current law
restricts sales of canned goods made in the home to $5,000 annually, which
is much lower than most states. Home-baked goods, such as cookies and
breads, are not allowed for sale in Wisconsin unless made in a commercial
kitchen holding a food processing plant license from DATCP. All of our
neighboring states allow for the sale of non-hazardous, home-made baked
goods. Minnesota allows up to $18,000 in sales, while Michigan allows
up to $20,000 in sales. In Illinois, bakers can sell up to $25,000 of
home-made baked goods at farmers markets, by contrast Iowa has no limit on sales of
cottage foods at farmers markets.
AB 417 gives Wisconsin entrepreneurs the
ability to start and grow a business from right at home in their kitchen.
This legislation removes unnecessary regulation and allows home-bakers to
supplement their incomes by starting a new business, and in the process,
providing consumers safe and delicious products. Right now, AB 417 has
had a successful public hearing in the Assembly Small Business Development
Committee and will hopefully soon receive an executive session and be
approved by that committee.
Assembly Bill 530, which relates to the
establishment of a dietetic internship program in the state of Wisconsin has
recently been assigned to the Assembly Workforce Development Committee and
will receive a public hearing on December 15th.
AB 530, focuses on the very real need for
Registered Dietitian Nutritionists (RDNs) in Wisconsin. Wisconsin is
facing a serious shortfall when it comes to the number of RDNs we have.
This internship program will create a number of slots for recent college
graduates who are looking to become qualified RDNs. This bill will not
only help people attain quality, well paying jobs, but will also help stop
the diminishment of nutrition care services in Wisconsin.
I am happy to say that both of these bills
have received bi-partisan support in the Assembly and the Senate and
hopefully will both be passed by the end of the spring legislative session.
Speaker's Task Force on Alzheimer's and Dementia
with Representative Rohrkaste
I will be
periodically hosting coffee hours throughout the 55th Assembly District to
give constituents the opportunity to voice their comments or concerns.
Join me at:
When: Wednesday, December 2nd from 8 - 9 AM
Where: Timshel Cafe, 124 West Wisconsin Avenue, Neenah
Congratulations to the Neenah High
School Girls' Tennis Team for winning the
2015 WIAA State Championship!! Go