Online Staff Report
State Sen. Dave Syverson, R-Rockford, is chiding two new pieces of legislation that, if passed as they currently stand, could virtually make bakes sales illegal and make it harder to purchase pets.
One bill, HB 5354, bans all Illinois citizens from making and selling cupcakes, cookies and cakes unless they take a class from the state, get licensed, and label all items using state guidelines. In other words, as this legislation stands, cupcakes sold by children for camp fundraisers would be banned unless state guidelines were met. Elderly women baking goods for a church raffle would also be outlawed.
“The first thing that comes to mind when you see this legislation is that these must be some kind of joke,” Syverson said. “We have major issues to be tackling this spring, including our struggling jobs climate, the budget, out-of-control tax rates and fee increases. Yet. some of these Democratic legislators are worrying about bake sales and buying puppies.”
Syverson said reasonable compromises have been offered, including one that would allow individuals to bake and sell up to $500 worth of baked goods per month without having to meet all guidelines. However, at this point, the Quinn administration has rejected that, he said.
“During the debate, I asked the Department of Public Health why whenever we hear of food-borne illnesses, that they seem to always come from places the health department oversees and regulates, not from grandma’s kitchen,” the senator added. “It is frustrating that the state does not have the manpower or resources to meet the core needs of its citizens, yet somehow seems to have enough money to go after the Girl Scouts and Grandma for baking a few cupcakes?”
House Bill 4056 (HB4056) blocks pet stores from selling any pets unless they come from animal shelters. That bill is being pushed by the Humane Society of the United States and would only affect pet stores, not sales of puppies over the Internet or through newspaper ads.
“If these groups were really concerned about the safety of animals and protecting the public, the last group they would go after is pet stores,” said Syverson.
Consumers are protected when purchasing animals through pet stores by the Illinois “Puppy Lemon Law,” which states stores must compensate for animals found to be sick or unfit within 21 days of purchase. In cases where a veterinarian deems a puppy unfit, stores must offer a refund, replace the pet or pay the pet’s vet bills. The law was passed last year.
“Pet stores only represent 2 percent of the sale of animals in this nation,” said Syverson. “One has to wonder why these legislators focus their time going after legitimate businesses instead of going after the illegal puppy mills across the nation. All one has to do is look at these two Democratic sponsored measures, among many others, and you can see why the public is frustrated with this out-of-control government.”