Legislative

Rhode Island Farm Bureau
2021 Legislative Bills of Interest

 The following bills are the highest priority bills that RI Farm Bureau
is tracking for the 2021 session.  The BLUE legislative numbers link to the bills.  Where there are companion (Comp) bills, it will be noted if they are NOT identical.  Hearing date, if any, is listed & RIFB position is noted. HFS means Held for Further Study; the bill was not voted on at the hearing and may be brought back up later in session.

Quick lookup of your legislator here:
Go here to find contact numbers and email for your Rep:
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5125
Hearing 2/11. Opposed. HFS.
Repeat 2020.
BY  Casimiro, Craven
AN ACT RELATING TO AGRICULTURE AND FORESTRY — HEMP GROWTH ACT (Authorizes cities and towns to enact ordinances to address and protect their citizens’ public safety and welfare from the impact of hemp cultivation and any of its derivative products.)
Comp S 132. Oppose.  Heidi Testified. Letter submitted.

S 132 
Hearing 3/15. Opposed. HFS
BY  Valverde, DiMario, Sosnowski, Euer
AN ACT RELATING TO AGRICULTURE AND FORESTRY — HEMP GROWTH ACT (Authorizes cities and towns to enact ordinances to address and protect their citizens’ public safety and welfare from the impact of hemp cultivation and any of its derivative products.)
Oppose. Letter submitted.  H Comp 5125 

H 5313
Hearing 3/1. Support with rec. language. Letter. HFS.
Repeat 2020
BY  Place, Quattrocchi, Roberts
AN ACT RELATING TO FOOD AND DRUGS — SANITATION IN FOOD ESTABLISHMENTS (Adds pickles and relish to those foods which are permitted to be manufactured and sold as a farm home food product.)
Support. Letter submitted.

H 5761
Hearing 3/11. Opposed. HFS.
By Potter, Kazarian, Kislak, Morales, Cortvriend, Henries, Ajello, Felix
AN ACT RELATING TO AGRICULTURE AND FORESTRY — FAMILY FARM PROTECTION ACT (Prohibits industrial sized factory farming.)
Oppose. Letter submitted. S Comp 469

 S 469
Hearing 3/17. Opposed. HFS.
By DiMario, Euer, Valverde, DiPalma, Seveney, Calkin, Bell, Kallman, Anderson
AN ACT RELATING TO AGRICULTURE AND FORESTRY — FAMILY FARM PROTECTION ACT (Prohibits industrial sized factory farming.)
H Comp 5761 Oppose. Letter submitted. 

H 5641
Hearing 3/26.  Opposed. HFS.
2020 Repeat
By Kislak, Bennett, Kazarian, Speakman, Cortvriend, Carson, Donovan
AN ACT RELATING TO HEALTH AND SAFETY — PESTICIDE CONTROL (Prohibits the use of neonicotinoids which are a class of insecticides.)
S Comp S 702 (not matching-makes state limited use.) Oppose. Letter Submitted.  Three farmers testified.

702
Hearing 3/31. Opposed. HFS
BY  Miller
AN ACT RELATING TO HEALTH AND SAFETY – PESTICIDE CONTROL (Restricts the use of Neonicotinoids within the state of Rhode Island by allowing the director to classify all neonicotinoids that are labeled for outdoor use as state- limited use).  H Comp H 5641. Oppose. Letter submitted.

H 5770
Hearing 3/16. Support. HFS.
Repeat 2020.
By Marszalkowski
AN ACT RELATING TO FOOD AND DRUGS — SANITATION IN FOOD ESTABLISHMENTS (Exempts residential kitchens providing baked goods for sale from the provisions of the general laws relating to farm home food manufacture.) Support. Much simpler than H 5758 below.

H 5758
Hearing 3/8. Support. HFS
By McEntee, Cortvriend, Speakman, Caldwell, Carson           AN ACT FOOD AND DRUGS — SANITATION IN FOOD ESTABLISHMENTS — HOME FOOD MANUFACTURE ACT (Amends the current law that allows farmers to sell produce directly to consumers by directing the department of health to permit home food manufacture and sales direct to consumers.)
Support. S Comp 552

 S 552
Hearing 3/31. Support. Sub A introduced. HFS
By DiMario, Seveney, DiPalma, Euer, Sosnowski, Lawson, Valverde, Archambault
AN ACT FOOD AND DRUGS — SANITATION IN FOOD ESTABLISHMENTS — HOME FOOD MANUFACTURE ACT (Amends the current law that allows farmers to sell produce directly to consumers by directing the department of health to permit home food manufacture and sales direct to consumers.) Support. H Comp 5758

H 5771
Hearing 3/16. Oppose. HFS.
By Potter, Kislak, Cortvriend, McGaw, Lima
AN ACT RELATING TO FOOD AND DRUGS — PROHIBITION ON LIVE MARKETS (Prohibits the granting of any business licenses to any person, firm, partnership or corporation that operates a live market where consumers can buy freshly slaughtered meat or fowl.)
Oppose. Written submitted.  S Comp 573

S 573
Hearing 3/17. Oppose. HFS.
BY  DiMario
AN ACT RELATING TO FOOD AND DRUGS — PROHIBITION ON LIVE MARKETS
Opposed. Letter submitted.  H Comp 5771.

H 5955
Introduced.
By Felix, Henries, Potter, Alzate, McGaw, Batista, Kazarian, Barros, Ranglin-Vassell
AN ACT RELATING TO AGRICULTURE AND FORESTRY — FOOD SECURITY AND AGRICULTURE JOBS (Protects food security and creates agricultural jobs and opportunities with the goal of creating food security. Employs several mechanisms to do so, including the creation of the agriculture jobs bureau, to be located within the division of agriculture.)
Oppose. Letter needed. S Comp 468.

 S 468
Hearing 3/17. Oppose. HFS.
By Anderson, Acosta, Bell, Calkin, Mack, Mendes
AN ACT RELATING TO AGRICULTURE AND FORESTRY – THE AGRICULTURE BUREAU ACT (Establishes various programs for the increase of local agriculture including grants to residents to grow gardens and establish community cooperatives. Establishes ecosystem restoration program and broadens states power to take land.) Oppose. Need written. H Comp 5955 Does NOT match. S 468 allows seizure of property.

 H 5731
Hearing 3/24.  Oppose. HFS.
By Potter, Lima, Serpa, Kislak, Baginski
AN ACT RELATING TO FOOD AND DRUGS — FORCE-FED POULTRY PRODUCTS (Prohibits production/sale/importation of any force-fed poultry product/ food containing force-fed poultry product imposing $500 civil penalty per violation eff. 1/1/22.) Oppose.  Letter submitted.  S Comp 471 Does NOT match, but same intent.

S 471
Hearing 3/17. Oppose. HFS.
By DiMario, Kallman, Euer, Valverde, Anderson
AN ACT RELATING TO FOOD AND DRUGS — FORCE-FED POULTRY PRODUCTS Oppose.  Letter Submitted. H Comp 5731 Does NOT match, but same intent.

 H 5465
Hearing 3/1. Opposed, HFS
By Filippi, Cortvriend, Place, Kazarian, Nardone, Alzate
AN ACT RELATING TO FOOD AND DRUGS – MILK SANITATION CODE (Permits and legalize the sale of raw milk.) Similar in 2020 which allowed for personal use, that bill extended to “owner’s club”.   Oppose. Letter submitted.

H 5760
Hearing 3/26. Neutral. HFS.
By Speakman, Cortvriend, Donovan, Caldwell, Carson, Handy, Tanzi
AN ACT RELATING TO AGRICULTURE AND FORESTRY (Creates a forest conservation commission, to be coordinated with the department of environmental management, to seek new funding and identify incentives for landowners to maintain their land as forest.)
There is no place in state statute that talks to value of RI forest.  Will afford forestland opportunity for sale of development rights just as farmland has. No requirement to do anything & no restrictions placed on privately owned forests. Everything is optional. Neutral/Support.  S Comp 470

 S 470
Hearing 3/17. Neutral. HFS.
By Ciccone, Valverde, Lombardo, Euer, Calkin, Kallman, Acosta, DiMario, Bell
AN ACT RELATING TO AGRICULTURE AND FORESTRY (Creates a forest conservation commission, to be coordinated with the department of environmental management, to seek new funding and identify incentives for landowners to maintain their land as forest.)
There is no place in state statute that talks to value of RI forest.  Will afford forestland opportunity for sale of development rights just as farmland has. No requirement to do anything & no restrictions placed on privately owned forests. Everything is optional.  Neutral/support.  Comp  H 5760

S 364A
Hearing 4/29. HFS. Support. Letter submitted. Heidi Testified.
2019 & 2020 Repeat.
By Archambault, Euer, Lombardo, Coyne
AN ACT RELATING TO TAXATION (Entitles dairy farms to the exemptions from taxation granted to farmland, forestland, or open space.)   Support Sub A languageAsk to continue to work with Senate on final language. Comp H 6126 

H 6126
Hearing 3/25. Letter Submitted Support with Amended Language. HFS.
BY  Bennett, Marszalkowski, McGaw, Ruggiero, Cortvriend, Carson, Phillips, Serpa, Vella-Wilkinson, Kennedy
AN ACT RELATING TO TAXATION (Entitles dairy farms to the exemptions from taxation granted to farmland, forestland, or open space.) Support with amended language.  S Comp 364A

H 6141
Hearing 4/5. Support. HFS.
BY  Shallcross Smith
AN ACT RELATING TO COMMERCIAL LAW — GENERAL REGULATORY PROVISIONS AGRICULTURAL EQUIPMENT RIGHT TO REPAIR ACT
Support.  Letter submitted. Testified.  Matches Nebraska legislation which NBFB supplied amendment for.  Recommending one insertion. 

 660
Hearing 4/1. Opposed. HFS.
BY
  Morgan, Rogers, Raptakis
AN ACT RELATING TO TOWNS AND CITIES — ZONING ORDINANCES (Specifically excludes the cultivation and processing of cannabis from the definitions of plant agriculture contained in the Rhode Island zoning enabling act.)  Opposed.  Letter submitted.  This changes the 2019 & 2020 legislation from marijuana to cannabis.  This would then also prohibit hemp.

 5188
Hearing 2/23. Opposed.  HFS.
Repeat 2020- this removes more.
BY  Serpa, O’Brien, Phillips, Casey
AN ACT RELATING TO CRIMINAL OFFENSES — TRADE IN ANIMAL FUR ACT (Prohibits the sale, offer of sale, trade or distribution of fur products as defined and makes any violation punishable by a fine of five hundred dollars ($500) up to five thousand dollars ($5,000) and up to one year in jail.)
Oppose. Letter Submitted.  Similar bill in 2020, this removes cowhide with hair attached from exempted items.

NEW 806
Hearing 5/6. Opposed. Letter Submitted..
BY
  Archambault
AN ACT RELATING TO CRIMINAL OFFENSES — TRADE IN ANIMAL FUR ACT (Prohibits the sale, offer of sale, trade or distribution of fur products as defined and makes any violation punishable by a fine of five hundred dollars ($500) up to five thousand dollars ($5,000) and up to one year in jail.)  H Comp 5188.  Oppose. Letter submitted.

NEW748
Hearing 4/14. HFS.  Support. 
BY  Archambault
AN ACT RELATING TO ALCOHOLIC BEVERAGES — GENERAL PROVISIONS – MANUFACTURING
AND WHOLESALE LICENSES (Authorizes the issuance of farmer-brewery and farmer-distillery licenses to qualifying farms subject to conditions and regulations issued by the department of regulation.) Support. 

NEW474
Hearing 4/7. Oppose.  HFS.
BY  DiMario, Euer, Ciccone, Valverde, DiPalma, Seveney, Calkin, Bell, Kallman, Anderson
AN ACT RELATING TO PUBLIC UTILITIES AND CARRIERS — RENEWAL ENERGY RESOURCE PROJECTS (Prohibits the co-location of multiple renewable energy resources one or more contiguous parcels, unless the total capacity of the co-location is less than ten megawatts (10MW) in total.)  Oppose.  Submit letter. H Comp 6169.

NEW H 6169
Hearing 4/5. Oppose.  HFS.
BY  Speakman, Ruggiero, Cortvriend, Carson, Donovan, Tanzi, Ajello, Morales, Potter
AN ACT RELATING TO PUBLIC UTILITIES AND CARRIERS — RENEWAL ENERGY RESOURCE PROJECTS (Prohibits the co-location of multiple renewable energy resources one or more contiguous parcels, unless the total capacity of the co-location is less than ten megawatts (10MW) in total.) Oppose. Submit letter. S Comp 474.