Senate revives, then kills bill allowing sale of raw milk in Montana
In its original form, HB574 would have allowed owners of small dairy herds to sell raw milk directly to consumers. Current Montana law forbids selling milk in Montana that is not pasteurized. [emphasis mine]
The Montana House passed the bill 96-3 last month, but the Senate Agriculture Committee made substantial changes to the bill. It said anyone selling raw milk would have to meet the “Grade A” standards of larger dairies, that anyone buying milk from a smaller herd would have to own a share of the cow, goat or sheep, and that anyone harmed by consuming raw milk could not hold the state liable.
The liability exemption for the state required a two-thirds majority of both the House and Senate for the bill to advance. Thursday’s vote for the bill in the Senate was 32-17 — one vote short of what was needed.