"Cottage food bill:" Will Laura Bradford's troubles affect home bakers proposal?

GOP lawmaker Laura Bradford has been making headlines lately -- and not for her adorable "cottage food bill," also now being called the "sweet bill," which would allow bakers and cake-makers to sell their delicious wares directly to consumers. Will the future of House Bill 12-1027 be affected by Bradford's misadventures, which now include a possible break from the Republican party?

Mande Gabelson, the Grand Junction baker who dreamed up the sweet bill, doesn't think so. "I don't want her complications to affect this bill," Gabelson says. "It really has no place in the bill. I was assured by most of the House that it would not affect it at all."

The House vote yesterday to unanimously pass the bill -- with some amendments -- proved that, Gabelson says. The bill now heads to the Senate Agriculture, Natural Resources and Energy Committee, which heard a similar bill from Senator Gail Schwartz, Senate Bill 12-48, that seeks to give a boost to farmer's markets and agri-tourism.

The amendments to the sweet bill include a clarification that the rules would only apply to "non-hazardous foods," which include baked goods, chocolate and fudge, but not custards or canned foods. Other amendments: that bakers would need to take a food safety class, keep records of their recipes and where they procured their ingredients, and would not be allowed to cook in other people's kitchens, just their own.

"That's kind of a no-brainer, but in case that was going to happen, that needed to be clarified," Gabelson says.

The bill has support from non-bakers too. Check out the catchy video below from libertarian Ari Armstrong, author of the Free Colorado blog and a columnist for the Grand Junction Free Press.

More from our Politics archive: "Trans fat ban in schools: Senator Lucia Guzman on nation's toughest bill."

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Melanie Asmar is a staff writer for Westword. She joined the paper in 2009 and has won awards for her stories about education, immigration and epic legal battles. Got a tip? She'd love to hear it.
Contact: Melanie Asmar

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