2010 Maryland Legalize Home Kitchens Bill

Decorating By Jodiedew Updated 26 Oct 2011 , 6:55pm by bonniebakes

Jodiedew Posted 22 Jan 2010 , 3:59pm
post #1 of 217

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.

216 replies
sweetpea1972 Posted 22 Jan 2010 , 4:14pm
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!

MrsAB Posted 22 Jan 2010 , 4:23pm
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!

djs328 Posted 22 Jan 2010 , 5:27pm
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

djs328 Posted 22 Jan 2010 , 5:31pm
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

BCo Posted 22 Jan 2010 , 5:48pm
post #6 of 217

I'm in again as well this time around...I will watch the post for updates!!

thanks Jodie

BCo Posted 22 Jan 2010 , 5:52pm
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

Jodiedew Posted 22 Jan 2010 , 9:05pm
post #8 of 217

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.

djs328 Posted 3 Feb 2010 , 2:30pm
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?

sweetpea1972 Posted 3 Feb 2010 , 6:34pm
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?

Jodiedew Posted 4 Feb 2010 , 1:43pm
post #11 of 217

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?

djs328 Posted 4 Feb 2010 , 2:00pm
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!)

gmorriello Posted 4 Feb 2010 , 2:13pm
post #13 of 217

If only we could get this moving in NY!!!!

thecakemaker Posted 4 Feb 2010 , 2:23pm
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

Jodiedew Posted 4 Feb 2010 , 8:12pm
post #15 of 217

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)

djs328 Posted 4 Feb 2010 , 8:19pm
post #16 of 217

AWESOME!!! Fingers crossed....

I cannot attend to testify, but will write a letter for sure! Anything in particular that Delegate Love thinks should be included/emphasized in the letters to the committee??

Thank you for all your work on this Jodie!!! icon_smile.gif

djs328 Posted 4 Feb 2010 , 8:28pm
post #17 of 217

Anyone else having trouble opening the pdf? icon_sad.gif

sweetpea1972 Posted 4 Feb 2010 , 8:50pm
post #18 of 217

I'm also having trouble with the PDF.

I can't believe the hearing is so soon! I will check whether I can attend but will also definitely send a letter.

aundrea Posted 4 Feb 2010 , 8:51pm
post #19 of 217

good luck to all your marlyand hope to get licensed home bakers!
i used to liver in maryland and loved it there-i consider it my second home state.
please let us know how it goes-keeping my fingers crossed for good things to come your way!
now if only connecituct will allow it.......ahhhh keep dreaming!!

thecakemaker Posted 4 Feb 2010 , 8:55pm
post #20 of 217

Awesome! Thanks for the update! Will see if I can find anyone that might be able to attend.

Debbie

pattycakesnj Posted 4 Feb 2010 , 9:17pm
post #21 of 217

good luck everyone in MD, I will keep my fingers crossed for you

BCo Posted 4 Feb 2010 , 9:43pm
post #22 of 217

If anyone has a sample letter they would like to post that would be great! I am not good with writing and getting my point across but it someone could post something as a start then we could modify it to our own situation that may be helpful?? Just a thought?

I can't believe how quick that was!

BCo Posted 4 Feb 2010 , 9:46pm
post #23 of 217

Here is the letter that was sent last year. I can't open up the PDF for this years to see what is different/added/ect. Maybe we could modify this letter and then send it to our friends and family so they could forward to their delegates as well? Any thoughts?

Dear Delegate Love,

Please support 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.

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.

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.
Regards,

MrsAB Posted 4 Feb 2010 , 10:15pm
post #24 of 217

Awesome! I don't think I will be able to attend the hearing either...darn!! I will just be returning to the office from a few days of leave. **stomping feet** But I will be sure to send my letter and have others to do the same.

MrsAB Posted 4 Feb 2010 , 10:20pm
post #25 of 217

Jodi, please repost the .pdf or send via PM. Thanks.

Jodiedew Posted 4 Feb 2010 , 10:31pm
post #26 of 217

Hi all--I'm not sure why the PDF won't post. It's an 8 page document; you can find it here: http://mlis.state.md.us/2010rs/bills/hb/hb0607f.pdf

djs328 Posted 4 Feb 2010 , 10:37pm
post #27 of 217

I have already made a couple mods to that one as well, and will post as soon as I have it done - prob. later this evening.
icon_smile.gif
Love that we have a good number of people so supportive of this! icon_smile.gif

djs328 Posted 4 Feb 2010 , 10:47pm
post #28 of 217

That link works, Jodie! icon_smile.gif Thanks!
(Now to peruse the 8 pages... icon_wink.gif

bonniebakes Posted 4 Feb 2010 , 11:41pm
post #29 of 217

Thank you Jodie - for everything you've done!

I'm soely a hobbyist now, but I hope this bill passing will change that!

Unfortunately I won't be able to attend the hearing, I'll be at a professional conference (for my real job). Good luck to whoever goes!!

MrsAB Posted 5 Feb 2010 , 6:00am
post #30 of 217

Does anyone have a sample letter we can use to send to Delegate Love showing our support? I see the sample letters to send to our delegates but nothing which we can use expressing our individual support.

Thanks.

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