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2010 Maryland Legalize Home Kitchens Bill

post #1 of 217
Thread Starter 
Hi! I'm happy to report that Delegate Mary Ann Love will be introducing a bill in the Maryland legislature to legalize home kitchens again this year. We had good feedback from the committee last year, and I requested that this year's bill include more details. (Link to last year's discussion--http://cakecentral.com/cake-decorating-ftopict-614118-.html). Some of the things I asked for include the following:

- Home kitchens would register with the Department of Health and there would be a registration fee set by the Department of Health.
- An inspection would NOT be required for registration, but the Dept. of Health could inspect your kitchen if they have cause to believe you are operating an unsanitary kitchen.
- A SafeServ certification would be required for registration.
- The registration would be for non-potentially hazardous foods only.
- All food items must be labeled with ingredients and a statement that the item is produced in a home kitchen, has not been inspected, and is not for resale.
-Food may be offered for sale only at farmers markets, at roadside stands, or from the processor's home.

Hopefully including these items will help address some of the committee's and Department of Health's concerns that we heard last year. The SafeServ certification will ensure that processors know what non-potentially hazardous food entails, a concern of the commitee. The Department of Health said they did not have enough people to inspect our kitchens; the wording would allow them to receive a registration fee and only have to inspect our kitchens should they feel it necessary.

Delegate Love's office is currently drafting the bill wording. Now we need your help!! Write to your Maryland delegates and ask them to become a cosponsor to this bill. (To find your delegates, go to http://mdelect.net/.). Then email that letter to your friends and family, and ask them to forward it to the delegate as well. Sign the petition at www.petitiononline.com/mdbake/petition.html, and ask other Marylanders to sign it as well. I am going to contact the Anne Arundel Community College Instituite for Culinary Arts and ask for their support in letter writing/petition signing as well. Also, begin to think about potentially testifying at the hearing (I won't know when this will be for quite a while). If you can't testify, writing a letter to the committee is requested by Delegate Love. The more the committee and the delegates are inundated with our desire to legalize home kitchens, the better off we'll be.

If any wants to take a lead role in this effort, please let me know! If someone is website or blog savy, by all means please create one! It will help us greatly! If someone has time or connections to committee members, that would be fantastic! I'd appreciate any and all help.
post #2 of 217
Jodie,

Thanks so much for starting this up again. I'm ready to help with the process again. If we can make a bigger showing, especially when testifying, I think that will help alot. The more faces they see, the more they will realize how many people this could affect and benefit.

I'll be sending out a letter with the delegates links to all of my friends and family.

Can you refresh our memories with the timeline?

Thanks again!
post #3 of 217
Thanks again Jodie for following up on this. I will be sure to send my letter and get fellow bakers as well as family/friends to do the same.

Don't forget to sign the petition fellow Maryland bakers/family/friends!
Cut And Keep Eating!, LLC
"After all, it's just cake!"
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Cut And Keep Eating!, LLC
"After all, it's just cake!"
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post #4 of 217
This is great! Thanks Jodie for spearheading this campaign...
- Do we have a name or number for the bill yet, so people can include that in their letters?
- Also - do we know who is on the committee? (so we can forward letters to them as well?)
- Also, I will try to dig out the letters we forwarded around last year.
- I also mentioned to Jodie, and I think it may help our cause a bit, that I think we should be mentioning in our letters how this will help stimulate the MD economy, and that it would mean tax revenue for the state (they've been sooooo worried about the budget, etc...here's a way for us to help! icon_wink.gif I think that angle may help us gain some popularity...

Looking forward to gaining some ground with the bill this time around...I think it will be well worth the effort and trouble in the end!!! icon_smile.gif
If you get melted chocolate all over your hands, you're eating it too slowly. ~Unknown
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If you get melted chocolate all over your hands, you're eating it too slowly. ~Unknown
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post #5 of 217
Ok, found the letter I sent/emailed last year...will need to make some modifications. Will repost a new copy when I've modified it. Suggestions from anyone for what to add? Delete? Change??? Open to suggestions...

****************************
Dear Delegate ______,

I am writing to ask for your support of HB 728, entitled Public Health - Sale of Baked Goods - Home Kitchens. This bill will allow home bakers to sell non-potentially hazardous food from their home kitchens to individuals for individual consumption. HB 728 allows for additional tax revenue for the state, fulfillment of supplier and consumer need, and commercial parity with our neighboring states. Among many other reasons the bill should be passed, three main reasons to support this bill follow:

1. Increased revenue with negligible cost.
Legalized home kitchens will have to adhere to the state food tax on all products sold, providing increased revenue base for Maryland. Furthermore, the home baker would be responsible for paying for the costs associated with opening a food establishment business: application fee, permit fee, and trade name fee.

2. Fulfillment of supplier and consumer need.
For many bakers, opening a legal bakery is a catch-22: they want to know if they will have a customer base before spending resources to open a legal kitchen, but they must open a commercial kitchen to legally sell their products. In turn, many home bakers turn to illegally selling products from their residential kitchen. For these home bakers, the opportunity to prove to their clientele that they are legally recognized by the state would be a real boon to their business. Given that home bakers average a small quantity of goods each week and many are already operating, the impact on commercial bakeries should be minimal.

Similarly, many consumers have a desire to purchase home made products from a local neighbor, and a legal certification would help consumers make better informed decisions. It would also support the growing movement for Marylanders to buy locally produced products, something which, in this economy, would benefit many of your constituents.

3. Parity with neighboring states.
All four of Maryland's neighboring states--Delaware, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and West Virginia--allow for the sale of food from home kitchens. Having a similar law will enable Maryland to remain commercially competitive with its neighbors.

Thank you for your support of HB 728.
Sincerely,
Betsy Baker
Sweet Town, MD
If you get melted chocolate all over your hands, you're eating it too slowly. ~Unknown
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If you get melted chocolate all over your hands, you're eating it too slowly. ~Unknown
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post #6 of 217
I'm in again as well this time around...I will watch the post for updates!!

thanks Jodie
"He who passes on dessert drives home with a stomach full of regret."
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"He who passes on dessert drives home with a stomach full of regret."
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post #7 of 217
Are we signing the same petition as last year? When I click on the petition link it gives me a Google search box. I can find the one from last year but wasn't sure if the link is not correct.

thanks
"He who passes on dessert drives home with a stomach full of regret."
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"He who passes on dessert drives home with a stomach full of regret."
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post #8 of 217
Thread Starter 
Sorry about the petition link: the comma got included in the link. It's http://www.petitiononline.com/mdbake/petition.html I'm also not sure of the timeline; it really depends on when the bill gets drafted and then introduced to the committee. Last year I believe we testified at the beginning of March.

There is no bill number yet; Delegate Love's office is still working on drafting it. So, if you have any input you want included in the bill language, please feel free to email Delegate Love (MaryAnn.Love@house.state.md.us). Other sponsors of last year's bill include Delegate Pamela Beidle, Delegate Don H. Dwyer, Jr., Delegate Nicholaus R. Kipke, and Delegate Steven R. Schuh. Please email your delegates and ask them to sponsor the bill too!!

Last year the bill went before the Health and Government Operations Committee. Members are as follows:
Chair: Peter A. Hammen
Vice Chair: Shane E. Pendergrass
Joanne C. Benson
Sue Kullen
Eric M. Bromwell
Karen S. Montgomery
Robert A. Costa
Dan K. Morhaim
John P. Donoghue
Shirley Nathan-Pulliam
Donald B. Elliott
Nathaniel T. Oaks
James W. Hubbard
Joseline A. Peña-Melnyk
Charles A. Jenkins
Kirill Reznik
Wade Kach
B. Daniel Riley
Nicholaus R. Kipke
Shawn Z. Tarrant
Susan W. Krebs
Veronica L. Turner
Committee Staff: Linda L. Stahr, Lisa J. Simpson, and Erin R. Hopwood
Dept. of Legislative Services
Assistant to Chair: Patrick Dooley

I like the idea of stressing economic benefits. If Delegate Love includes the wording I suggested, there will be even more economic benefits beyond tax revenues. We will be required to pay a registration fee to the Health department, so they'll receive revenue. We'll also be required to take the ServSafe exam, which potentially means money we spend at our community colleges to take the class and test.
post #9 of 217
Hey Jodie - any word on the bill? Do we have a bill number yet? If so, I can start harassing all my friends and family to write in! icon_wink.gif
Anything you need help with?
If you get melted chocolate all over your hands, you're eating it too slowly. ~Unknown
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If you get melted chocolate all over your hands, you're eating it too slowly. ~Unknown
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post #10 of 217
Jodie,

When I click on the petition link, it says I've already signed (I'm assuming from last year) Does it keep going or do we start a new petition this year?
post #11 of 217
Thread Starter 
No new information about the bill yet! It's the same petition as last year, which is probably why you can't sign again.

Is there anything else you all think we could be doing while we wait for the bill to be written?
post #12 of 217
I think the main thing is just getting the word out to MD bakers to support the bill.
Jodie - did you PM a lot of MD people or not yet? If not, I'm happy to try to send msgs to people to let them know what's going on and 'rally the troops,' so to speak! icon_smile.gif

I am soooooo not into politics normally, but I am totally into trying to get this bill passed! icon_smile.gif Anyone else have any ideas of how to help this along?

What did other states' bakers do while waiting? (I hate waiting! Can you tell? icon_wink.gif LOL!)
If you get melted chocolate all over your hands, you're eating it too slowly. ~Unknown
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If you get melted chocolate all over your hands, you're eating it too slowly. ~Unknown
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post #13 of 217
If only we could get this moving in NY!!!!
post #14 of 217
Awesome! Thanks Jodie! I totally missed this one last year. Will definitely get letters out and notify the local bakers that I know.

Debbie
Hope your day is a piece of cake!
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Hope your day is a piece of cake!
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post #15 of 217
Thread Starter 
We have a bill and a hearing!!

The Bill is HB607 (attachment doesn't work - see http://mlis.state.md.us/2010rs/bills/hb/hb0607f.pdf). It has been assigned a hearing on Tuesday, February 16th at 1:00 p.m. in the Health and Government Operations Committee (Rm. 241).

Can anyone attend the hearing? I have some work meetings already scheduled and don't think I can attend! icon_sad.gif I will definitely write a letter to the committee. But, we MUST have some people testify. It's the best way to show support. If you want to testify, or if can submit a letter to the committee (it goes in the official consideration package), you have to email Delegate Love at maryann.love@house.state.md.us.

I will forward the bill and hearing information to the Anne Arundel Community College baking and pastry program students. I have not PMed Maryland bakers--please feel free to do so, it's a great idea. And start having your family and friends write tons of letters to the committee!!

(edited to add link to bill)
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