The Republican-led House is poised to vote on a measure Tuesday that would allow the Amish to keep their traditional meals for free, and they say the move would be an assault on the American institution.
The legislation has drawn the ire of the Amis, the religious and non-religious adherents of the United States’ first-mighty Amish tribe.
The Amish live in about 20 states and in Wisconsin alone, they have a population of about 4,400.
The bill has been called a “slap in the face” by the Ami community, a group of people who consider themselves the backbone of the state’s economy.
They have been working to keep the state in line with federal food-safety standards and other provisions that have come under fire in recent years.
“The Amish have long been a major source of tax revenue for Wisconsin,” said John Gagnon, the Amicorum for Food and Rural Development, an advocacy group for the Amishes.
“They have an enormous amount of influence in Wisconsin politics, and this is the direct result of what they have been doing to our state.
We don’t have to have it.”
A spokesman for the Wisconsin State Capitol declined to comment on the proposed vote Tuesday night.
“We are waiting for the bill to get to the floor,” the spokesman, Josh M. Smith, said.
“At this point, it is not a priority for us.”
The Amishes have long complained that they are discriminated against in the food system.
They are not allowed to use a vending machine or a delivery service to deliver food, and the Amichuans have complained that some food distribution companies refuse to serve them because they are Amish.
The proposed amendment would allow any Amish, whether they are in their homes or in their villages, to sell their food at grocery stores and restaurants.
The move would allow for a wide variety of foods, including some that aren’t traditionally considered Amish-approved.
In addition to the meat and vegetables that the Amishers typically eat, the bill would allow them to sell frozen vegetables, fruit and honey.
“It’s the same food, it’s the food, but we’re getting rid of it,” said Gagnons Amish Foods chairman, Bill DeHaan.
“I’m not going to go on the record as saying that I like it.
But we can do something that is good for us, good for our families, good that helps us.”
According to a recent Associated Press analysis, there are more than 3,500 members of the nation’s Amish community in Wisconsin, about one in five of them in the state.
It’s unclear how many of the 5,500 people who live in Amish communities in Wisconsin are actually Amish themselves, and whether the proposed legislation will pass.
A spokesman from the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture and Rural Electrification told the AP that the bill is not “designed to affect Amish practice,” but would allow people to participate in the traditional food process.
“If people are going to be allowed to participate, it makes sense for them to participate with other businesses.” “
Wisconsin is a great place to grow a business,” said Bill Lauer, the department’s director of community development.
“If people are going to be allowed to participate, it makes sense for them to participate with other businesses.”
The department did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
In the statehouse, Rep. Jim Cooper, a Republican from Green Bay, told reporters Tuesday night that he was looking forward to working with the Amisin community and other stakeholders to make this a success.
“This is an issue that the state government should be concerned about,” Cooper said.
Rep. Steve Southerland, a Democrat from Milwaukee, called the proposal “a slap in the faces to the Amigos” and said the amendment would “put our state in a really bad place.”
The Associated Press first reported on the proposal in April.