Click here to view Action Alert
Sign Petition then Make Calls
When is a final committee vote on a bill not final? In Virginia, it’s when the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (VDACS) decides it doesn’t like the outcome.
On January 25th, the Virginia House Agriculture Sub-Committee voted (4 YEAS-4; NAYS-3) to send an amended version of the Virginia Food Freedom Act (HB 619) onto the full committee for consideration. The amended version of HB 619 would change Virginia’s cottage food law to allow the unregulated sale direct to consumers of baked goods, such as pumpkin pie, that require time or temperature control after preparation–a significant step in expanding business for home kitchens operating under that law.
Despite having a representative at the January 25th meeting, VDACS did not raise objections to the amendment. The department has now convinced subcommittee chairman Barry Knight to hold another hearing on February 1st to revote on the amendment to HB 619. Lois Smith, the president of the Virginia Independent Consumers and Farmers Association (VICFA), made inquiries as to how a subcommittee chair could order a second final vote and was told that they can do what they want.
Smith asked an official from VDACS why the department now opposed the bill and the response was that “they have given us enough”–referring to two recent cottage food bills passing into law allowing the unregulated direct-to-consumer sales of some foods.
When Smith asked why VDACS did not state its opposition to the bill at the January 25th hearing, the response was that “they could not hear” what was happening when HB 619 came up. This was news to Smith who sat next to the VDACS representative at the hearing and could hear everything that went on just fine. There was a small turnout for the hearing and the subcommittee only considered only four bills that day.
What can Virginia residents do to stop VDACS from getting away with this farce? Contact members of the House Ag Sub-committee and attend the next hearing on Monday, February 1, to show your support for HB 619.
Watch Fox News video clip: Big Government Costing Virginia FarmersPublished on December 28, 2014.
Expand your food choices in Virginia!Urge YES Vote on HB 619 for February 1st
VICFA provided content for this action alert.
If you care about the freedom to chose the foods you want to eat and oppose the over-reaching, over-regulated power of the government to dictate what foods you can purchase…
The Virginia Food Freedom Act (HB 619) with drastic changes was resubmitted by Delegate Rob Bell for the Agricultural Sub-Committee meeting this past Monday, January 25, 2016, and many of you made the calls to get this through. THANK YOU!!
This bill will enable people to make and sell more foods, such as pumpkin pies and quiche, directly to consumers without state inspections of private homes!
The Virginia Department Agriculture and Consumer Services (VDACS) is now opposing this amendment to HB 619 and convinced chairman Barry Knight to hold a revote. Therefore, the bill will have to be heard and voted on again in the Agricultural Sub-Committee this coming Monday, February 1st at 4:30 p.m.
Read “Food Freedom Farce in Virginia“
How is a subcommittee revote forced for a bill voted out of subcommittee instead of going to the full committee?
When VDACS was asked, “What is their opposition?”,they replied …”They have given us enough”
When VDACS was asked, “What the current regulations on selling pumpkin pies are?”,they replied…”They did not know”
When VDACS was asked, “Why they did not state their opposition at the sub-committee meeting on this past Monday?”,they replied…”They could not hear .”
This is why VICFA and FTCLDF oppose unreasonable regulations that block direct farmer to consumer trade.
Please take action to support local food choice with HB 619.
Share this link with family, friends, and colleagues:
Use the petition service to urge Sub-Committee members to vote “YES” on HB 619. Follow up with phone calls first to members who voted “No” on January 25th. Then call to thank members who voted “Yes” on January 25th.
Please be courteous in all communications. Phone calls are most effective.
See contact details below.
ACTION #2: ATTEND HEARING
Please show your support for HB 619 by attending the hearing which convenes at 4:30 p.m. Meet up with supporters at 4pm.
4:30 p.m. Monday – February 1st, 2016
7th Floor West Conference Room
General Assembly Building
201 North 9th Street
Richmond, Virginia 23219 [directions]
Please call members of the Agriculture Subcommittee asking them to vote YES on HB 619 at the February 1 hearing. Even if you are not a constituent since committee members represent All Virginians. Thank those who previously voted yes on this bill (noted below as YEA or NAY).
NAY – Barry Knight (Chairman) 804-698-1081
YEA – Robert Orrock 804-698-1054
YEA – Charles Poindexter 804-698-1009
YEA – Michael Webert 804-698-1018
NAY – Robert Bloxom 804-698-1000
YEA – Matthew James 804-698-1080
NAY – Mark Keam 804-698-1035
Vote 1/25/16: YEAS–Orrock, Poindexter, Webert, James–4; NAYS–Knight, Bloxom, Keam–3.
General Assembly Directions
(click here for GoogleMaps)
After parking, walk to the General Assembly Building at 9th and Broad Street and enter on Capitol Square side.
FROM THE WEST:
Take 64 East
Near Richmond, 64-East merges with 95-South
Stay on 64-East/95-South to exit 75, the 3rd St./Coliseum exit
The exit ramp puts you on 3rd Street
Cross Broad St., cross Grace St.
Turn left on Franklin
Follow the 64/95 route toward Norfolk/Petersburg. Once in Richmond take exit 75 to Interstate 64 and the 3rd Street, Coliseum and Downtown exit. Take the 3rd Street exit and proceed on 3rd Street to Franklin Street. Turn left on Franklin Street and proceed to 9th Street. Turn left on Ninth Street. The General Assembly Building will be ahead one block on the right.
FROM THE NORTH, SOUTH OR EAST:
I-95 North Exit 74 C onto Broad Street going west.
Turn left at 10th Street
Cross Broad St. and look for parking.
In Richmond take exit 74C to Broad Street West. From Broad Street turn left on 8th Street and proceed to Franklin Street. Turn left on Franklin Street. Go one block and turn left on 9th Street. The General Assembly Building will be ahead one block on the right.
I-95 South Exit 74 C onto Broad Street going west.
Turn left at 10th Street.
Cross Broad Street and look for parking.
In Richmond take exit 75 to Interstate 64 and 3rd Street, Coliseum and Downtown exit. Take the 3rd Street exit and proceed on 3rd Street to Franklin Street. Turn left on Franklin Street and proceed to 9th Street. Turn left on Ninth Street. The General Assembly Building will be ahead one block on the right.
I-64 West Exit 190 onto 5th Street.
Turn left onto Marshall Street.
Turn right onto 10th Street, cross Broad Street and look for parking.
In Richmond take exit 190, (also known as the 5th Street exit). Proceed on 5th Street to Franklin Street. Turn left on Franklin Street and proceed to 9th Street. Turn left on 9th Street The General Assembly Building will be ahead one block on the right.
I-195 (RMA Downtown Expressway)
Exit 7th Street-9th Street.
Turn left onto 9th Street. Turn right onto Broad Street.
Turn right onto 10th Street and look for parking.
There are several public parking decks within walking distance of the Capitol. If the lot at 7th St. is full, there are other lots in that area, so take what you can find.
There is a parking lot at Franklin and 7th, on the right. If you can park there (if the lot isn’t full), walk down Franklin (same direction you had been driving) two blocks to 9th (dead end at a light). Turn left on 9th and walk up a couple blocks to the entrance to Capitol Square, on the right.
Though it often fills up early, there is an open lot at the corner of 8th and Grace Streets, as well as a covered deck under St. Paul’s Church, which can be accessed from 8th Street. From 7th and Franklin, continue on Franklin to 9th-(a dead end at a light) turn left on 9th, turn left on Grace [the underground lot is on the left, under St. Paul’s church].
YOUR FUND AT WORK
Services provided by FTCLDF go beyond providing legal representation for members in court cases. The Fund is not an insurance company and cannot guarantee representation on all legal matters; possible representation is just one of the benefits of membership.
Educational and Political Action Services also provide an avenue for FTCLDF to build grassroots activism to create the most favorable regulatory climate possible. In addition to advising on bill language, FTCLDF supports favorable legislation via action alerts, social media outreach, and the online petition service.
You can help FTCLDF by becoming a member or donating today.
8116 Arlington Blvd, # 263
Falls Church, VA 22042
Prefer to make a tax-deductible donation? Donate online at bit.ly/NFG4FTC.
You may also contact us by email at [email protected] or call 703-208-FARM (3276). Thanks for your support.