LEMOYNE, Pa. — The Pennsylvania State Grange is excited by recent legislative developments which would strengthen the dairy industry in Pennsylvania.
“Progress is moving on many fronts,” said Pennsylvania State Grange President Wayne Campbell. “June may prove to be the most productive month ever for pro-dairy legislation. We are looking forward to many of these bills being sent to the governor for signing before the summer recess. This is truly an example of bipartisanship at its best and lawmakers should be thanked for keeping their focus on helping agriculture, Pennsylvania’s top industry.”
Current examples include:
- On June 18, the House Agriculture & Rural Affairs Committee reported out House Resolution 222 is sponsored by Rep. John Lawrence, R-Chester. It urges the U.S. Congress to “defend dairy farmers by enforcing a standard of identity for the term “milk”.
- Also reported out of committee House Resolution 402 is sponsored by state Rep. Jim Struzzi, R-Indiana. It recognizes the value of whole milk and supports efforts to bring whole milk back into the schools.
- Senate Bill 585 is sponsored by state Sen. Jake Corman, R-Centre. It establishes the Pennsylvania Dairy Future Commission. It passed the House June 19 by a 200-0 vote.
- House Bill 1590 is sponsored by state Rep. Clint Owlett, R-Tioga/Bradford/Potter. It establishes the Dairy Investment Program and provides $5 million of capital to encourage development of smaller scale dairy processing facilities. It passed the House 200-0 on June 19.
- Two bills passed the House and Senate respectfully to allow milk hauling from farms even if there is a weather disaster declaration. Senate Bill 588 is sponsored by state Sen. Judy Ward, R-Blair. House Bill 915 is sponsored by state Rep. Martin Causer, R-Cameron/McKean/Potter. HB 915 was reported out by the Senate Transportation Committee June 18 and expects an imminent Senate vote.
At the national level, there is also pro-dairy legislation:
- HR 832 sponsored by state Rep. G.T. Thompson, R-15, would give kids milk choices they want served in school cafeterias including flavored and unflavored whole milk.
- HR 1769, co-sponsored by state Rep. John Joyce, R-13, calls for enforcing regulations prohibiting milk alternatives being labeled as “milk.”
- Sen. Pat Toomey just this week introduced the Milk In School Lunches Act would allow schools to serve whole milk and 2 percent milk.
— Pennsylvania State Grange