State enacts new laws to benefit local farmers

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State Rep. Rosa C. Rebimbas (R-70), right, was among the crowd present as Gov. Dannel Malloy signs H.B. 6156, An Act Concerning Farmers' Markets, into law recently. CONTRIBUTED

HARTFORD — State Rep. Rosa Rebimbas (R-70) recently joined fellow legislators as Gov. Dannel Malloy signed into law a number of bills benefitting farmers, local businesses and their suppliers.

One law in particular, H.B. 6156 An Act Concerning Farmers’ Markets, allows local farmers to pay only one local health permit fee in order to sell their goods at farmers’ markets throughout the state. The law does require the farmer to notify a local health department or district in advance if he or she will begin operating a food service establishment in that jurisdiction.

“These new laws will create more opportunities for Connecticut retailers to expand their offerings and cater to the needs of their customers across the state,” Rebimbas said in a news release. “This small change will be a big benefit not only for consumers and retailers but also for the state through increased exposure to the small businesses that make Connecticut unique.”

Previously, farmers were required to pay for a separate permit in each health district where they wanted to sell their goods.

Another law, Public Act 11-164 An Act Authorizing The Sale of Connecticut Wine at Farmers’ Markets and Establishing a Farmers’ Market Wine Permit allows for Connecticut’s growing population of local vineyards to participate in farmers markets by permitting the sale of wine. A town may reduce the allowable wine selling hours through a town meeting vote or ordinance.