Check out what’s happening with local farms and food at the Texas Legislature during the 2019 legislative session! FARFA has 11 priority bills that we’re working on, and we’re tracking several more that are of interest for local producers and consumers. Stay tuned on the latest developments by signing up for our action alerts, and be sure to call your legislators to tell them which bills matter to you!
Download more information on the bills that already have been filed by clicking on the “Fact Sheet” links below. If you would like to have a Fact Sheet for any of the bills not yet filed, please email Judith@farmandranchfreedom.org and we can provide one.
FARFA’s Priority Bills
- Expanding cottage foods
- Allowing farmers with a Grade A permit for raw milk to sell at farmers’ markets and to deliver to consumers: HB 503/ SB 80. Fact sheet on raw milk.
- Capping permit fees that local health departments can charge farmers’ market vendors
- Stopping local health departments from requiring expensive permits for sampling at farmers’ markets; HB 1694/ SB 789. Fact sheet on sampling.
- Making it easier for small farmers to get agricultural valuation, and lower their property taxes: HB 97. Fact sheet on fair taxes for small farmers.
- Helping new farmers get agricultural valuation on their farms by reducing the waiting time from 5 years to just 2
- Allowing farmers to sell ungraded eggs to restaurants and retailers, increasing consumer access to locally raised eggs: HB 1284. Fact sheet on eggs.
- Creating a micro-producer exemption so that small farmers can process up to 1,000 birds on-farm without building an expensive facility. And for the farmers who invest in a licensed facility, allow them to process up to 20,000 birds per year.
- Creating a micro-florist exemption so that people who sell less than $25,000 of cut flowers or plants don’t have to pay for the expensive nursery permit
- Requiring local health departments to answer farmers’ & food businesses’ questions about what the law requires
- Establishing an ombudsman position to help farmers and small rural businesses navigate the maze of regulatory agencies: SB 776. Fact sheet on ombudsman.
More Bills of Interest
- Farm to Cafeteria: Allowing schools to pay a little bit more (up to 7%) for food produced within the state: HB 1696/ SB 788
- Hemp: Now that the federal ban is gone, we still need state legislation to actually allow farmers to grow this versatile, valuable crop in Texas. There are a range of proposals: HB 979/ SB 116, HB 1230, HB 1325
- Establishing a task force to promote pollinator health: HB 136
- Preventing local governments from regulating children’s lemonade stands: HB 234
- Allowing individuals to process and sell up to 500 rabbits/year without regulation: HB 410
- Preventing local governments from banning backyard chickens, up to 6 hens: SB 86
- Abolishing the requirement for a permit to transport bees within the state: SB 677. Visit Lone Star Beekeepers Association for updates and details
- Using state land for community gardens: SB 236
Sign up for email alerts from FARFA to stay informed on all of these bills and more!
You can create your own bill tracking list and get alerts when a bill moves, a committee announces a hearing, and other actions at the Legislature by setting up a MyTLO account.