Home-based bakers, who sell their cakes or cookies from their houses, would be exempt from some state licensing regulations, under a bill approved by a House committee on Tuesday.

The measure, proposed by state Sen. Rick Ward, D-Maringouin, would free people who bake from their homes from sanitation rules that require the purchase of commercial grade equipment. It’s the same exemption already given to makers of jams, jellies, preserves, honey and honeycomb products.

They still would have to follow sanitary codes for cleanliness, Ward said.

“The main objective is to keep them from having to purchase expensive equipment,” he said.

Critics raised concerns about food-borne illnesses and food safety.

The committee approved Senate Bill 18 in a 9-8 vote, sending it to the full Louisiana House for debate. It already has the backing of the Senate.