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Relating to limitations on food regulations at farms, farmers' markets, and cottage food production operations.
According to the Legislative Budget Board, no fiscal impact to the state is anticipated.
HB 1694 would prohibit the Department of State Health Services (DSHS) or a local government authority from requiring a person to obtain a permit to provide samples of food at a farm or farmers' market. It would also prohibit a local government authority from regulating the provision of samples at a farm or farmers' market except as provided by these bill's provisions.
This bill would also prohibit the Health and Human Services Commission, a state enforcement agency, or a local government authority from requiring a farmers' market to pay a permit fee for: (1) conducting a cooking demonstration for educational purposes, or (2) providing samples of food.
Texas Action supports HB 1694 because removes regulatory barriers between customers and cottage food operations which ensures a freer marketplace for goods and services. This bill would reduce the unnecessary and impractical burdens placed on small farmers and food businesses selling at farmers' markets.