2017 Maryland Legislative Priorities

Screen Shot 2017-02-16 at 10.28.33 AMFair Farms is following a wide array of legislation in the Maryland General Assembly, which is holding is 90-day session through April 10, 2017. We hope that you will be an involved participant in the legislative process this session. Write your legislators, submit testimony, and support bills by talking with family and friends and encouraging them to get involved. These bills support sustainability in the agriculture sector, they’re good for the environment, and promote healthier products in the marketplace.

  • The Keep Antibiotics Effective Act (Senate Bill 422/House Bill 602), sponsored by Senator Paul Pinsky in the Senate and by Delegate Robinson in the House, would limit the use of human antibiotics in farm animals that are not sick.
    • UPDATE (May 25, 2017): This bill will become law without a signature from Governor Larry Hogan, making Maryland the second state in the country after California to meaningfully address the widespread misuse of antibiotics in livestock and poultry.
  • The Maryland Farm and Families Act (Senate Bill 278/House Bill 586), sponsored in the Senate by Sen. Thomas “Mac” Middleton and in the House by Del. Shelly Hettleman, would double the purchasing power of food-insecure Marylanders by increasing revenue streams through federal benefit programs for farmers at Maryland farmers markets.
    • UPDATE (May 4, 2017): This bill passed the legislature and was signed by the governor.
  • The Food Donation Pilot Program (Senate Bill 416/House Bill 472), sponsored in the Senate by Sen. Thomas “Mac” Middleton and in the House by Del. Sally Jameson, would allow farmers to donate their leftover foods at the end of a farmers market and receive a tax credit in return. Please take action on the Maryland Food Donation Pilot Program and tell your legislators you support this legislation.
    • UPDATE (April 18, 2017): This bill passed the legislature and was signed by the governor.
  • Healthy Soils (House Bill 1063). This bill is sponsored in the House by Del. Dana Stein and would provide incentives for farmers who farm sustainably in the state (support with amendments).
    • UPDATE (May 4, 2017): This bill passed the legislature and was signed by the governor.

Fair Farms is a campaign of Waterkeepers Chesapeake – you can find additional legislative priorities here.

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