S.B. No. 617
  relating to the regulation of certain direct sales of food to
  consumers and a limitation on the fee amount for certain permits.
         SECTION 1.  Section 437.0065, Health and Safety Code, is
  amended to read as follows:
  PRODUCERS. (a) In this section, "farmers' market" and "food
  producer" have [has] the meanings [meaning] assigned by Section
         (b)  This section applies only to a permit issued under this
  chapter to:
               (1)  a farmer for the sale of food directly to consumers
  at a farmers' market, a farm stand, or the farmer's farm; and
               (2)  a food producer, other than a farmer, for the sale
  of food directly to consumers [an individual who prepares food for
  sale] at a farmers' market.
         (c)  A permit issued under Section 437.003, 437.004,
  437.0055, or 437.0201 to a person described by Subsection (b):
               (1)  must be valid for a term of not less than one year;
               (2)  may impose an annual fee in an amount not to exceed
  $100 for the issuance or renewal; and
               (3)  must cover sales at all locations the permit
  holder is authorized to sell food under Subsection (b), including
  farmers' markets, farm stands, and farms [locations] within the
  jurisdiction of the permitting authority.
         (d)  A farmer or food producer who is charged an annual fee in
  an amount that exceeds the amount authorized by Subsection (c)(2)
  or whose permit does not otherwise comply with this section may
  bring an action against the governmental entity that charged the
  fee or issued the permit to recover:
               (1)  the amount the farmer or food producer was charged
  in excess of the annual fee authorized by Subsection (c)(2); and
               (2)  reasonable and necessary attorney's fees incurred
  in bringing the action.
         SECTION 2.  Section 437.020(a), Health and Safety Code, is
  amended by amending Subdivision (1) and adding Subdivision (3) to
  read as follows:
               (1)  "Farmers' market" means a designated location used
  for a recurring event at which a majority of the vendors are
  [primarily for the distribution and sale directly to consumers of
  food by] farmers or other food producers who sell food directly to
               (3)  "Food producer" means a person who grew, raised,
  processed, prepared, manufactured, or otherwise added value to the
  food product the person is selling.  The term does not include a
  person who only packaged or repackaged a food product.
         SECTION 3.  (a) The change in law made by this Act applies
  only to an original or renewal permit issued on or after the
  effective date of this Act. A permit issued before the effective
  date of this Act is covered by the law in effect when the permit was
  issued, and the former law is continued in effect for that purpose.
         (b)  Section 437.0065(d), Health and Safety Code, as added by
  this Act, applies only to a cause of action that accrues on or after
  the effective date of this Act.
         SECTION 4.  This Act takes effect immediately if it receives
  a vote of two-thirds of all the members elected to each house, as
  provided by Section 39, Article III, Texas Constitution.  If this
  Act does not receive the vote necessary for immediate effect, this
  Act takes effect September 1, 2021.
  ______________________________ ______________________________
     President of the Senate Speaker of the House     
         I hereby certify that S.B. No. 617 passed the Senate on
  April 29, 2021, by the following vote:  Yeas 31, Nays 0.
  Secretary of the Senate    
         I hereby certify that S.B. No. 617 passed the House on
  May 26, 2021, by the following vote:  Yeas 146, Nays 0, one
  present not voting.
  Chief Clerk of the House