The Wisconsin Senate committee sitting on a new raw milk bill since it was introduced last May 26 won’t be holding a public hearing on the measure any time soon.
The bill is not yet dead, but unless it gets a course change soon, it will be on Dec 31.
Chairman Dale Schultz, R-Richland Center, of the Senate Agriculture, Forestry and Higher Education Committee has refused to give Senate Bill (SB) 108 a public hearing because he fears it would degenerate into hard-line stances by both proponents and opponents.
Sen. Schultz would prefer both sides of the issue get together outside of the Senate hearings rooms to see if they might work out a compromise.
According to Wisconsin media reports, Senate and Assembly leaders just do not like the proposed raw milk measure and are not likely to let it out of committee during the current session. Proponents says they are not “overly optimistic” about prospects for SB 108.
Wisconsin lawmakers did pass a bill to make commercial raw milk sales legal in 2010, but it was vetoed by then-Gov. Jim Doyle. His Agriculture Commissioner then put together a raw milk task force, which wrote a report on what would be required to make commercial raw milk sales as safe as possible.
SB 108, however, did not take the task force recommendations into account; it is even broader than the 2010 bill, according to the Wisconsin Safe Milk Coalition.
Proponents, organized by the Wisconsin Raw Milk Coalition, are not giving up and are entertaining changes to get the bill moving.