The Pryor Times

March 13, 2013

Home bakery act a winner

Staff Writer
Susan Wagoner

— Upon the passage of a measure to create an income tax checkoff to fund a Constitutional Challenge Fund for the state to defend constitutional challenges to laws passed by the legislature I had to ask myself: Has it really come to this? I've seen several questionable measures, but the creation of a fund to defend 'em?

But I want to digress from a discussion of unconstitutional measures passed by the Oklahoma legislature to write about a measure that I'm sure will pass constitutional muster. It's not dealing with guns, Sharia Law, drones, education, or healthcare - it's the Home Bakery Act of 2013, a measure to deregulate the sale of home bakery products.

In previous years I've worked with Rep. Eric Proctor (D-Tulsa), to secure passage of this measure to simply allow the sale of prepared food from a home food establishment, up to gross annual sales of $20,000. With the growth of farmers markets across Oklahoma, and in our local communities, this measure will allow more people to take part in selling their homemade goods without the need of licensure through the State Department of Health.

Under the bill a seller would only be required to affix a label with the name/address of the home food establishment, the name of the food, and a statement that the product is made in home food establishment.

I believe this measure will assist many people in our area supplement their incomes and will also enable additional members of our Amish community to take part in the locally popular bakery trade. The measure now moves to the Senate and I am very hopeful it will gain passage this year.

The legislature has now completed five weeks of work and this week will be a deadline for House bills to be passed and sent to the Senate. Bills which fail to pass will be effectively dead for the year. Please let me hear from you with any questions or concerns about issues pending before the legislature. I can be reached at bensherrer@okhouse.gov or at (800) 522-8502. Until next week, God bless you.