Wisconsin 'Cookie Bill' Law

It's called the 'Cookie Bill' and it has the ingredients to start a whole lot of controversy in Wisconsin. Jenna Sachs reports.
 
Angela Steinkamp is a home baker in Milwaukee who aspires to one day make baking her day job.
 
“My boss is super supportive of me doing this in the future, I just need to give her notice."
 
It's an ambition that would be made easier by a bill that's passed the state senate three times unanimously. It’s known as the 'cookie bill' and it would bring Wisconsin in line with 48 states that allow home bakers to sell their goods without being licensed or using a commercial kitchen. 
 
"This is a way for people to supplement their income."
 
Under the most recent senate version of the cookie bill, I could take these cookies and sell them at a farmer’s market or bed and breakfast for profit as long as those sales are less than 25,000 dollars a year. Three Wisconsin bakers are actually suing the state, for the right to do this.
 
"There are so many women in Wisconsin who just want to be able to sell cakes and cookies to help support their family."
 
In May, a judge sided with attorney Erica Smith declaring the state's ban on three women who want to sell their baked goods unconstitutional.
 
“This law is unconstitutional as it applied to the three plaintiffs and it should be unconstitutional as it applies to every home baker in Wisconsin.”
 
But the cookie bill hits a dead end with assembly speaker Robin Vos who won't schedule it for a vote. 
 
“It’s just not going to happen in the assembly because I am not going to create a situation where we have different rules for different people.”
 
Vos has put forward his own bill that lifts regulations on all bakers. 
 
“If they're making the case that it is safe when you make it at home, it is certainly safe when you would make it in a sanitary facility that is inspected and follows all of the laws and regulations.”  
 
But Vos isn't the only one against the cookie bill. Susan Warner runs a wedding cake business in Brookfield. It took Susan and her husband a year to build this commercial kitchen in their basement and to get all the necessary approvals. 
 
 
"To get the city permit and work with the health department on all the regulations and things like that.”
 
Susan says she worries about food safety, which is why she doesn't support Vos’s bill either.
 
“You’re taking away a level of protection if there’s no licensing, there's no health inspection.”
 
Susan is also concerned about people who have food allergies like nuts, or people who have pets running around their kitchens. However, the lawsuit's attorney says there's no evidence of people becoming sick from improperly home baked goods.
 
As for the status of that lawsuit, a judge recently ruled that the three women who filed it can start selling their goods legally, but for everyone else in the state, the current law still stands.

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