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Proposed Food Distribution Legislation Put on Hold

Proposed legislation to promote food security and rural economic development has been referred to summer study committees in the Tennessee House of Representatives and State Senate.

Copies of the proposed legislation and other information were distributed for discussion at the March 7 Giles County Republican Party meeting.

State Rep. Clay Doggett R-Pulaski is sponsoring House Bill 2650, while State Sen. Paul Bailey R-Cookeville is sponsoring Senate Bill 2857.

Doggett represents the 70th District, which includes Giles and most of Lawrence counties.

The house bill was deferred to summer study from the Agricultural and Natural Resources Subcommittee on March 15, the same day of the senate action.

Promoted by the Rural Tennesseans Coalition, the bill is aimed at growing, processing and selling food in Tennessee, which would have the affect of generating economic activity in the state, while increasing the supply of locally made food, according to Kevin Hathaway of the coalition, based in Leoma.

Under the proposed program, Tennessee food producers and food processors would receive transferrable state tax credits for investments to establish or expand short intrastate food distribution channels to to supplement existing food distribution channels.

Transferrable state tax credits could then be used to pay any state tax bill or sold to a third party, according to information from Hathaway.

Tennessee is facing a food security issue that is largely the result of the current food processing and distribution model, according to information from Hathaway.

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