LANSING – A bill sponsored by State Representative Jon Hoadley (D-Kalamazoo) that would increase funding for Michigan’s Dairy and Food Safety Fund has been voted out of the House Appropriations Committee and will head to the floor of the House for a vote. The Dairy and Food Safety Fund is used to support the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development’s food safety and quality assurance programs.
“When we go to the grocery store and buy food to put on our families’ tables, we trust that what we buy is safe and wholesome,” Hoadley said. “Ensuring the safety of our food is the task of the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development, and this fund is the way they keep us safe. Increasing funding for this program is critical to the health and safety of us all.”
Hoadley’s bill, House Bill 4470, will increase the fees paid by grocery stores, food processors, food warehouses and other businesses that handle and prepare food over a three-year period. The nonpartisan House Fiscal Agency estimates that the fee increases will add $2.7 million a year to the fund’s budget at the end of the phase-in period.
“As a former first responder, I’m acutely aware of how important food safety is, and how dangerous it is to our health when food isn’t handled properly,” Rep. Henry Yanez (D-Sterling Heights) said. “Making sure food inspectors have the funding they need to do their job is imperative to the safety of everyone in our state, which is why I support this bill.”