[R74] Rep. Ellspermann’s bills to encourage food and worker safety signed by governor (3/15/2012)

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Start Date: 3/15/2012
End Date: 3/15/2012

STATEHOUSE—Two pieces of legislation authored by State Rep. Sue Ellspermann (R-Ferdinand) were signed by Gov. Mitch Daniels. 

House Enrolled Act (HEA) 1312 allows farmers to sell more food items at farmers’ markets or roadside stands.
Individuals will be able to grow the food product not just from their home, but from other property they lease or own.  Poultry may now also be sold at a farmers’ market or roadside stands if it is prepared following federal guidelines and statute.

Furthermore, the legislation will create a summer study committee to research the obstacles farmers face in producing, processing, and distributing locally grown food and finding strategies to encourage the distribution of locally grown products to more Hoosier consumers.

“Local farmers are a vital part of our economy,” said Rep. Ellspermann.  “Anything we can do to help these entrepreneurs sell their homegrown food products is good for Indiana and for the overall health of Hoosiers.  I’m looking forward to finding innovative ways to promote consumption of locally grown foods in the summer study committee.”

The second piece of legislation signed into law by the governor included HEA 1173 which mandates that the identity of employees that file a complaint concerning workplace safety or health standards must be kept confidential and undisclosed in public records.  The bill also states that neither the commissioner of the Department of Labor nor any former employee of the Department of Labor may be subpoenaed for inquiries concerning any occupational safety or health inspection, except for enforcement proceedings brought by the Indiana Occupational Safety and Health Act and a narrow set of other circumstances.

“Every employee has the right to know that their work environment is safe,” said Rep. Ellspermann. “Fear of retribution from an employer should not deter a worker from reporting a health or safety violation.” 

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Rep. Ellspermann’s bills to encourage food and worker safety signed by governor, 3-15-12.docx