Since 2010, there have been waves of bills involving food and food safety washing through state capitals on subjects such as cottage foods, agricultural security, raw milk, and labeling food products containing genetically modified ingredients. The 2015 legislative sessions underway in 47 of the 50 states are different. In this second part of our look at what’s happening in the states, we find that the waves have crashed. Food and food safety are getting spotty interest, but legislators appear to be off doing other things, especially spending newly found money fueling state budgets. However, we do find: In Iowa, a raw milk bill failed to pass out of a subcommittee and cannot move forward as a standalone bill. House File 209 is not officially dead, but pretty close. Its language could be amended into other bills involving related subjects. Since it has not been reassigned to any other subcommittee, it’s on life support. Opposition turned out in force for the first subcommittee action. A Montana raw milk bill waiting for a vote on the floor of the House of Representatives would allow retail sales limited to small herds, but before it was allowed out of committee, liability for any deaths or injuries caused by the product was shifted to the consumer. A House vote was expected this week after House Bill 245 passed out of the Human Services Committee on a 14-3 vote Feb. 11. However, it has not been brought up yet. State Rep. Nancy Ballance (R-Hamilton) says the raw milk bill isn’t everything she wanted. She also says that raw milk is “not the scary product it was 50 years ago.” The U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recently reported that more illnesses and outbreaks are occurring as a direct result of state legislative decisions to loosen up on raw milk regulation. An animal cruelty bill patterned after Missouri’s has also been introduced in Montana to require reporting to appropriate law enforcement within 24 hours of any evidence of abuse. Senate Bill 285 is clearly aimed at animal rights groups that collect video or pictures for release when investigations are completed. State Sen. Eric Moore (R-Miles City) says that anyone collecting such evidence should report it immediately and not hold onto it “for political purposes.” In Nevada, lawmakers in Carson City get the first chance to decide on a voter-approved initiative to legalize recreational marijuana. If the legislature approves the initiative in the first 40 legislative days, it immediately become law. If not, it goes to the 2016 ballot for voters to decide. Tilapia and striped sea bass would be added to the list of of fish regulated by the New Mexico Department of Game & Fish if House Bill 201 makes it to the governor’s desk. The bill is a result of the aquaponics boom in the state. Department regulators, however, are concerned about tilapia getting into the waterways since it’s an invasive species. The bill would give the department authority to make sure that those farming fish get a permit and do not put the fish into waterways. North Dakota’s 80-year-old anti-corporate farming law may get some surgery this session to exempt dairy and pork operations that are no larger than 640 acres. “We cannot afford to ignore and do nothing about this issue,” Sen. Terry Wanzek (R-Jamestown) told the Senate Agriculture Committee. “Doing nothing is not an option.” Wanzek’s legislation would allow non-family farm corporations to own or lease agriculture land, as long as the operations don’t take up more than 640 acres of land, or a square mile. He says the changes are needed to help the state’s dying dairy industry and declining swine industry. Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe has received a bill from the General Assembly that would reform the Alcoholic Beverage Control Board to bring about better prices, selection, and store choice. The Senate followed the House in unanimously passing identical bills, sponsored by Delegate David B. Albo (R-Fairfax) and Sen. Ryan T. McDougle (R-Hanover), to turn the board into an authority. It would take effect in 2018, setting minimum job qualifications for board members and the chief executive in an effort to reduce the political nature of the jobs, which command yearly salaries of more than $100,000, plus benefits. A so-called “ag-gag” bill in Washington state has gone nowhere since it was introduced for a quick public hearing. And in Wisconsin, rumors about the introduction of an “ag-gag” bill have yet to become reality after a month of noise over the issue. State Rep. Lee Nerison (R-Westby) promised to introduce such a bill, but he has not yet done so. “Ag-gag” is the name animal rights activists and some journalists use to describe laws that prevent collecting photographic evidence on private farms or ranches using an undercover identity. Wyoming’s “Food Freedom Bill” made the Senate’s “general file,” meaning that it could be heard anytime by the Committee of the Whole, the final hurdle before a possible final floor vote. House Bill 56 is popular with Wyoming lawmakers this year, while newspaper editorial writers are urging its defeat. (Editor’s note: This is Part 2 of a two-part story on current state legislation related to food safety. Part 1 can be found here.)