Food trucks are a growing industry in Indiana, gaining significant traction during and after the coronavirus pandemic.
But some food truck operators have told state lawmakers that it’s difficult to expand their operations by moving from county to county. While it’s not illegal for food trucks to cross county lines in Indiana, doing so usually means following a whole new set of health ordinances and restrictions.
State Rep. Lorissa Sweet (R-Wabash) was one of the Republicans who introduced the bill after hearing from one of her constituents.
“He told me that if you want to go from county to county in a food truck, it’s very difficult,” she said Monday on the floor of the Indiana House of Representatives. “Because it’s different regulations, different fees, different licenses.”
Sweet said these barriers are holding back the food truck market from growing.
Sweet and state Rep. Joanna King (R-Middlebury) have introduced a bill that would create a statewide ordinance regulating food trucks. The idea is to have the same maximum rules for food trucks in all 92 counties, making it easier for food truck owners to move from county to county.
“The bill also requires that local (health department) inspections (of food trucks) cannot be more prescriptive or more stringent than what is allowed by state law,” King added. Ta.
Simply put, if the bill becomes law, local health departments’ rules for food trucks would not be allowed to be stricter than those enforced by the state.
This is where Democrats oppose this proposal.
State Rep. Greg Porter (D-Indianapolis) is particularly concerned that the bill could undermine the process of regulating food trucks in Marion County.
“It could impact our food safety program here in Marion County,” Porter said. “I’m just very worried. I understand the gist of the bill, but I think it’s a mobile unit (food truck) at the local level. Each prefecture is different. They need to have all the appropriate safety elements and be able to control it locally. there is.”
The bill passed the Indiana House largely along party lines and now goes to the state Senate.