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Texas Becoming Legal - Page 3

Poll Results: How Passionate are you about Texas becoming Legal?

 
  • 84% (154)
    VERY Passoniate! I'll write my representative!
  • 13% (25)
    I'd like to see it happen, but I'm okay either way
  • 2% (4)
    I really don't care. I have no interest in selling my cakes.
183 Total Votes  
post #31 of 347
Ok, I wrote my first post then went downstairs to throw a chicken in the oven for dinner. While I was down there I started thinking and thinking, and muttering to myself like a madwoman.

Jenwright, this is HUGE. He's listening to you, it sounds like he doesn't fundamentally disagree with our basic position (cakes from homes aren't unsafe) and he would like a way to make it work! Here's what I think you should do: call him back. Ask for an appointment. If it were possible, I would think it would be great if a number of us could also attend. (Bake him a homemade cake). We/you need to talk to him face-to-face and brainstorm about other ways to make this happen.

Most of us aren't looking to start a rip-roaring bakery from our homes. We just want to legally be able to make a cake for a co-worker, friend-of-a-friend, etc, and get paid for it.

Jen, what area of Texas are you in? It's a big (big) state, but if it were at all feasible, I would try to be there.
post #32 of 347
I'm in Lake Jackson, straight down Hwy 288 from Houston...about 50 miles.

I work with a guy whose wife also does cakes from home, maybe I can get her on board, too. I honestly don't know what I would say if I set up a meeting. I have really strong views, but this (bils, laws) is still new to me. I mean, I love doing this and my plan was to do as many cakes on the side as possible to build up a little money to start up a REAL bakery for this area in about 5 years. My DH and all my family members and friends are behind me on this 'dream'.

You're right, this is huge. I really couldn't believe that he was talking to me! I just don't know what to say back!! icon_eek.gif
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post #33 of 347
re: not knowing what to say...that's why it would be better for there to be a group of us. Two heads are better than one! Talk to your co-worker's wife, see what she thinks. I reaaaaaally think a face to face meeting is the way to go. If you schedule it a couple weeks out, I could try to make arrangements to attend.

Any progress we make is a building block for the future.

I would also be interested in asking him WHY a bill like this would be slaughtered. Who is opposing it? Other lawmakers? The Dept. of Health? The Texas Restaurant Association?
post #34 of 347
Hmm...

Well, with my work schedule being what it is, I could try to set one up for March 2, 5, 6, 7, 23, 26, 27, 28 if his office is indeed in Angleton. I had to mail the letter to Austin, though. And if he were in Austin, my hubby and I have been trying to find a reason to go to 6th Street and eat some really good barbeque!

Wow...I feel pretty good about this now!
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post #35 of 347
Obviously...if he wanted to meet in Austin that would make it extremely likely I would attend. icon_smile.gif

And then we could go to 6th Street, and I would take you guys to the wonderland that is the All in One Bake Shop. party.gif
post #36 of 347
Ok I have a friend that is really into politics and might be able to help! She loves stuff like this.
post #37 of 347
hmmm...
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post #38 of 347
For four years in the 90's I worked for a state agency in the "state office", meaning the office that is responsible for implementing policy. I survived two Legislative Sessions ('95 and '97) and learned a lot watching my bosses work to get bills passed. I dealt with legislative aids and legislators on a daily basis during both those sessions. I'm not saying I'm an expert, but the whole process did become less mysterious to me. The first step is getting someone to listen, and you DID! That is so awesome!!
post #39 of 347
Just saw this post. Has there been any update?

What about a city ordinance? Would that trump a state law?
post #40 of 347
No, I never heard back from my State Senator or Rep (which I think is pretty rude, to be honest).

No city or municipality can make a law that trumps the state law.
post #41 of 347
Ok as of tonight I am writing at least one letter a week, more if I can find the free time. I already have my first one typed, printed and sealed in an envelope, I don't have the new stamps so I am putting two 39 cent stamps on, well worth it. The only way they are going to get me to stop sending letters is to listen to what I have to say. And I read in a thread that someone wanted to start a petition, I think that is a great idea, I would sign it! Now all I have to find out is ifa petition can be done online or if they require actual signatures to hold any signifigance. Let me know if anyone knows anything about that. We will be able to bake legally in our home one day!
post #42 of 347
We are talking about using our residential kitchens....the same kitchens we prepare our family's food, right? I'd like to see this happen, too..........but we all need to consider what this will mean. Do you really want an inspector coming into your private residence? Because our kitchens are part of a larger building (our homes) will law makers want to also include inspections of the whole house? What if you have an indoor pet? And what about the bakers that have already invested time and money in becoming legal per the current rules? Would they write letters opposing a new rule?

As far as I can tell, a totally separate garage/building is allowed if it meets certain standards. Maybe I am wrong about this..........have already emailed the State about it for clarificaiton. http://www.dshs.state.tx.us/foods/faq.shtm
See questions 14, 15 and 16

My fear is that lawmakers will read this to mean that 'home kitchens' are already allowed.

I am ready to march up the Capitol steps with my fellow home bakers but I also know that getting something like this passed would definitely be very difficult.....not impossible, just very difficult. But it would be interesting to see what would happen if we did march up those steps! There is strength in numbers, right!?!?!

I work for a non-profit organization that serves people with disabilities and trying to get policy changed at the legislative level is really hard.....especially when the opposition has tons of $$$$ to "lobby". As a non-profit organization that receives federal funding, our agency cannot lobby.
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post #43 of 347
Yes, regulation of residential kitchens would entail inspection, but since it is currently 100% illegal to sell ANYTHING you make in your home kitchen, I'm willing to accept that. I will welcome anyone into my kitchen, any time. Yes, they may say no pets are allowed in the house, as some other states do. I don't think that's an unreasonable requirement and I would be willing to accept that as a consequence of being LEGALLY able to sell food from my kitchen.

If anyone is still writing letters, it is worth noting that Utah passed a Cottage Foods Act this year:

http://le.utah.gov/~code/TITLE04/htm/04_05011.htm

The state regulates home-based daycares (I used to work for that agency). The licensee has to make sure the home meets all the minimum standards for a Registered Family Home or Day Care Center (depending on number of children and staff). The licensee also prepares food for the children in the home. Some parents like the idea of their children being cared for in a home environment.

Can you imagine the outcry if the state suddenly said "sorry, no more home based child care! Children must be taken care of in a non-residential licensed commercial facility because there is no way you can keep your home clean or safe enough!" All hell would break loose. So many women rely on those day cares for their income or a second income.

I see a lot of parallels between operating a home-based daycare and a home-based bakery/cake business. Both baking and taking care of children are traditionally activities that take place in the home. Both require some measure of safety and cleanliness. And neither one should be required to take place in a commercial facility to be considered legal.
post #44 of 347
As I understand it we can not legally sell cakes made at home in Texas but we can give the cake away and accept a cash donation or present. I have not tried this or checked it out legally but if anyone knows if this is true let me know.
"Help, I child proofed my house but they still keep getting in!!"
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"Help, I child proofed my house but they still keep getting in!!"
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post #45 of 347
I know it's been a long time since I've been on here about this...

I had actually gotten a letter from my state Senator, Kyle Janek, maybe a month after my last post that stated he was going to be working on getting this issue into the house and see what could be done. After hearing Bonnen tell me that any kind of health department related concerns would basically get "slaughtered", this letter did not give me a false hope, it just kinda made me shake my head. I, for one, do not want to mess with the Texas Health Department. I'm accepting 'tips' for my cakes that I make for friends and family, in my home, and am waitnig ever so patiently to be able to open my own cakery. I don't do large cakes, I've only done 1 wedding cake and will not (if the opportunity ever arises) make a cake for an event that is catered by another person because I don't want to tick anyone off and have them turn me in.

I'm not saying I'm giving up, but I will continue to make cakes for friends and family...they're the most fun cakes anyway. I'm not trying to do cakes for money right now because I know that no one who doesn't know what goes into making/decorating a cake won't pay what cakes are actually worth. Plus, I don't have the money now that it would take to make my home 'legal' if home bakeries were allowed.
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