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Our Agenda 2014 - 2015

For the 2014 - 2015 legislative session, we worked to pass the legislation below.

Jane Lawton Farm-to-School Act Expansion

Fact Sheet
Primary Sponsors:
Delegate Jeff Waldstreicher and Senator Jamie Raskin
Purpose: Increase the amount of local produce in schools and provide further encouragement for the development of relationships between local farmers and Maryland school district food service providers

  • Maryland farm-to-school week would be expanded from one week to two weeks a year, with one in the fall and one in the spring.
  • Bill draft (HB252, SB284)
  • Fiscal and policy note


Thirsty Kids Act

Fact Sheet
Primary Sponsors:
Delegate Aruna Miller and Senator Karen Montgomery
Purpose: Offer free, unlimited water to children in school cafeterias

  • All schools in the state would be required to put a reusable water bottle on its supply lists for every child in every grade.
  • School districts would be encouraged to develop a plan to encourage the use of water bottles and a culture of drinking water and weekly cleaning of water bottles.
  • Schools would be required to provide flat-bottomed, biodegradable cups from which to drink water in the cafeteria or any other location in which meals are served.
  • Bill draft (SB296, HB1023)
  • Fiscal and policy note
  • Voted out favorable with amendment from Senate Committee on Education, Health and Environmental Affairs


Sugar-Free Schools Act

Fact Sheet
Primary Sponsors:
Delegate Andrew Platt and Senator Ronald Young
Purpose: Reduce the sugar intake of children at school to within recommended limits suggested by the American Heart Association (AHA)

  • School districts will be required to come up with a plan for reducing total sugar intake per meal for any child based on the recommendations of the AHA for added sugar (the AHA recommends that children ages 4-8 consume no more than 3 teaspoons and pre-teens and teenagers consume no more than 5-8 teaspoons of added sugar daily)
  • School districts would be required to form a committee to write this plan and invite the general public, including any interested stakeholders, such as parents, students, educators, medical professionals and non-profit organizations, to sit on this committee
  • Plans would be required to be opened up for public comment for an appropriate period of time and publicized to parents. Final plans should incorporate public input or provide adequate justification for ignoring it.
  • Bill draft (SB505, HB894)
  • Fiscal and policy note


Vending Machines and Marketing Act

Primary Sponsors: Delegate Will Smith and Senator Ronald Young
Purpose: Require 24-hr. compliance with local and state guidelines for food or drinks sold or served in schools on a regular basis and limit marketing to only compliant foods and beverages

  • Food and beverages sold in vending machines in public schools at any hour in areas to which students have access must be compliant with local wellness policies and state regulations for food and beverages sold to children during the school day (so would not contain items like soda and candy).
  • Marketing for food and beverages on school campuses (oral, written, or visual) can only be for food and beverages permitted to be sold to children during the school day under local wellness policies and state regulations. School districts must identify and eliminate all marketing and advertising on school property which does not currently meet such standards as leases, agreements, or contracts are renewed or items are replaced.
  • Bill draft (SB504, HB1095)
  • Fiscal and policy note


School Food Transparency Act

Fact Sheet
Primary Sponsors:
Delegate Sheila Hixson and Senator Shirley Nathan-Pulliam
Purpose: Improve transparency about foods and their ingredients served in schools

  • Individual schools would be required to individually list all items sold in cafeterias on their web sites, including most commonly identifiable brand or manufacturer and product names.
  • School districts would be required to individually list all items sold in any school cafeteria in their district on their menus, including most commonly identifiable product names.
  • School districts would be required to list all items sold in cafeterias on their web sites, including manufacturer/brand and product names, ingredient lists and nutritional information.
  • Bill draft (SB278, HB1208)
  • Fiscal and policy note


School Wellness Committee Act

Primary Sponsors: Delegate Sheila Hixson and Senator Ronald Young
Purpose: Establish standing wellness committees with parent and community involvement

  • School districts would be required to have standing wellness committees meeting at least quarterly with power to make recommendations to school districts on wellness related issues
  • 50% of the seats on the committee would open to parents as voting members
  • Seats would also be required to be offered to representatives of any local community or non-profit organizations focusing on school wellness-related issues
  • Bill draft (SB506, HB1209)
  • Fiscal and policy note


Chemical-Free School Food Act

Fact Sheet
Primary Sponsor:
Delegate David Moon
Purpose: Prohibit additives in school food that have been shown to be carcinogenic in animal studies or associated with hyperactivity or other behavior problems in children.

  • The following ingredients would be prohibited in food served in schools that is purchased or served by public school districts:
    • Artificial Colors
    • Artificial Flavorings
    • Artificial Sweeteners
      • Aspartame
      • Acesulfame-K
      • Saccharin
      • Sucralose
    • Bread/Flour Additives
      • Azodicarbonamide
      • Potassium Bromate
    • Brominated Vegetable Oil (BVO)
    • MSG (Monosodium Glutamate) and other glutamate-containing additives, including autolyzed yeast, Torula yeast, and hydrolyzed vegetable protein
    • Mycoprotein (Quorn)
    • Preservatives
      • Butylated Hydroxyanisole (BHA)/Butylated Hydroxytoluene (BHT)
      • Propyl Gallate
      • TBHQ
    • Sodium Nitrate/Sodium Nitrite
    • Sulfur Dioxide & Sodium Sulfite
  • Bill draft (HB679)
  • Fiscal and policy note

2015 - 2016 Legislative Agenda

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