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Senate committee advances ‘cookie bill’

Antigo, WI, United States / AntigoRadio.com
Senate committee advances ‘cookie bill’

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A state Senate committee has approved legislation that would allow home-bakers to sell their products without having to get a license or open a commercial kitchen.

State Senator Sheila Harsdorf (R-River Falls), a co-sponsor of the measure, says it’s aimed at helping small producers who want to sell their products at places, such as farmers markets.

Nick Levendofsky with the Wisconsin Farmers Union says current regulations are too costly for those bakers who are just starting out, and are not sure if there business is viable yet. “This is a deal breaker for most people,” he told lawmakers during a public hearing on Wednesday. “The cookie bill would help start small businesses here in Wisconsin.”

A similar measure passed the Senate last session with bipartisan support, but died in the Assembly where Speaker Robin Vos remains an opponent. He has argued the move could harm small businesses that already follow state regulations, and recently introduced legislation that would deregulate the entire baking industry.

A Lafayette County judge ruled last month that Wisconsin’s ban on selling home-baked goods is unconstitutional.

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