Last chance for farmers’ market reforms

Published May 21, 2021


The House and Senate have taken their inter-chamber rivalry to new heights (or lows) this session. They have sent about half as many bills to the Governor’s desk as compared to this time last session. And now the House is taking off two days! This is all part of the chambers’ power struggles over passing each other’s bills – and a lot of good policy reforms get caught in the middle.

We have ONE last chance to get our Farmers’ Market bill a vote on the floor of the House.

The bill, SB 617, is a simple clean-up bill that protects farmers’ market vendors from excessive permit fees. The Texas Legislature already passed permit fee caps last session, but a few local health departments have not properly applied them because of some regulatory definitions. SB 617 simply provides legislative definitions for “producer” and “farmers market” so that producers selling food at markets all over the state are protected from improper fees.

PLEASE take a few minutes to send an email to the Calendars Committee members to urge them to please set this simple, yet important, bill for a vote! Even though they’ve recessed until Sunday afternoon, they’ll still be reading email.

[We will provide updates on the Home Food Security Bill and other issues on Facebook and via email over the weekend. Thank you to everyone who has been calling in support of the bill. You are making waves up at the Capitol!]




  1. Email all the Calendars Committee members. Keep your email short and polite.
  2. If – and only if – you are a constituent of one of the Calendars Committee members, then call that member. The list is below, after the sample email.

Email list:;;;;;;;;

Sample email:

Subject line: Calendars, please set SB 617 for a floor vote

Dear Calendars Committee members:

My name is __ and I live in [town].  I urge you to set SB 617, the Farmers’ Market bill, on Tuesday’s calendar.

[Add 1-2 sentences about why you care – whether you are a consumer who buys food at your local farmers’ market, you are a small-scale food producer, you think it’s important to support small businesses, etc.]

This is a simple clean-up bill that ensures that the laws passed in the last session, to protect farmers’ market vendors from excessive permit fees, are fairly and consistently applied across the state.

Please don’t let this bill die!

[Sign with your full name & phone number.]

Read our fact sheet for more information.

Calendars Committee: Areas they represent and their phone numbers, for CONSTITUENT CALLS ONLY. You can leave your message on voicemail if no one answers.

Chair: Rep. Dustin Burrows
Represents: Borden, Gaines, Lynn, Mitchell, Scurry, Terry counties, and part of Lubbock County

Vice Chair: Rep. Joe Moody
Represents: Part of El Paso County

Rep. Tom Craddick
Represents: Crane, Dawson, Martin, Midland, and Upton counties

Rep. Cody Harris
Represents: Anderson, Freestone, Hill, and Navarro counties

Rep. Cole Hefner
Represents: Camp, Morris, Rains, Titus, and Wood counties, and part of Smith County

Rep. Ana Hernandez
Represents: Part of Harris County

Rep. Ben Leman
Represents: Austin, Burleson, Colorado, Fayette, Grimes, Lavaca and Washington counties

Rep. Jared Patterson
Represents: Part of Denton County

Rep. Toni Rose
Represents: Part of Dallas County

Rep. Shelby Slawson
Represents: Comanche, Coryell, Erath, Hamilton, McCulloch, Mills, San Saba, and Somervell counties

Rep. James Talarico
Represents: Part of Williamson County

When you call, be sure to keep it short and be friendly. Everyone is very stressed right now!