Urge your State Rep to support Cottage Foods bill!

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Urge your State Rep to support Cottage Foods bill!

WCC’s Cottage Foods Expansion bill (House Bill 15-1102) passed its second hurdle on Friday, April 10, passing out of the House Appropriations Committee with a 11-2 vote.

Please take a minute to stand up for small farms and food businesses. Contact your representative and urge them to support this bill as it makes it way to the House floor.

We especially want to thank Reps. Hamner (D) and Willett (R), who worked hard in a bipartisan effort to move the ball down the field and secure funding for the expanded Cottage Foods program.

Since 2011, WCC has worked to establish, protect, and grow Colorado’s Cottage Foods industry. Colorado’s Cottage Foods Act is a commonsense measure that promotes economic development in Colorado communities and has allowed hundreds of producers to legally sell the products they love to make in their home kitchens.

House Bill 15-1102 will help grow small businesses across Colorado. Consumers want more access to fresh, locally produced and processed foods. Small farmers and food entrepreneurs are ready to meet this demand.

Many of the bills on our watch list have been in a holding pattern as both chambers of the state legislature considered budget legislation. Known as the “Long Bill,” Senate Bill 15-234 has now been approved by both chambers as it passed third reading in the House on Thursday. We now hope to see some forward movement on other bills that have been waiting for appropriations hearings.

Other Legislative Updates

On this week’s call, WCC’s legislative committee agreed to oppose House Bill 15-1057 which would make it harder for ordinary citizens to place initiatives on the state ballot. The bill was laid over in the House State Affairs committee on March 25. Stay tuned for updates.

Senate Bill 15-046, which makes it easier for Rural Electric Associations (REAs) to meet the state’s renewable energy standard, has made its way through both houses and awaits the Governor’s signature. WCC applauds the hard work it took to get good amendments on the bill so that it will be a benefit to REAs without compromising the renewable energy standards we fought so hard for in 2013.

Our legislative committee is also taking a look at Senate Bill 15-258, the inaptly named “Colorado Electric Consumers’ Protection Act.” The bill would require a lengthy review process before any state rules related to the EPA’s Clean Power Plan could be adopted. We’ll discuss taking a position on Tuesday’s call.

We have also been following the progress of a residential rain barrel bill. House Bill 15-1259 would allow no more than two rain barrels with a combined storage capacity of 110 gallons or less and limited to outdoor watering purposes.

Senate Bill 15-039, which would establish “concurrent jurisdiction” and threaten our federally managed public lands was laid over in the Senate State Affairs Committee on April 6th. Stay tuned for more opportunities to protect our public lands.

For information about all the bills WCC is tracking, including our positions and where they are in the process, see our bill tracker.

To join WCC’s weekly legislative calls with our legislative liaison, please contact Rachel Zatterstrom at (970) 256-7650 or rachel(at)wccongress.org.

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