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NYFB Statement on End-of-Legislation Session

Last-minute bills offer up wins for New York farmers


The following may be attributed to NYFB President David Fisher:


“The flurry of bills that were quickly passed in the final days of session had a number of bright spots for New York Farm Bureau members.


We are grateful that lawmakers were successful in giving craft spirit and cider makers the ability to directly ship to their customers. This will create new opportunities for our members to take advantage of interests from tourists and customers who cannot find their favorite local farm beverages in their liquor stores. We are especially grateful to Sen. James Skoufis and Assemblymember Donna Lupardo who carried this across the finish line. It is a new lifeline for many struggling distilleries and cideries.


We are also pleased that the legislature amended the farmworker overtime tax credit that will ensure all farms have access to this important state investment. Labor costs continue to rise, and this will help all farms cover an overtime threshold that will continue to drop over the next decade. It is the right balance for our farms and farmworkers.


New York Farm Bureau also successfully opposed bills that weren’t approved that would have only added to the cost of doing business in an already expensive state. The passage of the Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) Act would have upended the state’s recycling program and especially burdened agricultural producers and food processors, ultimately making food more expensive in the stat at a time consumers are facing continued inflation.


Likewise, the TEMP Act that would have set new workplace standards when temperatures top 80 degrees, hardly a heat extreme, also did not pass either the senate or assembly. Farmers must already follow strict federal OSHA standards and provide drinking water and common-sense safety measures to keep employees safe. This bill would have gone further by mandating health screenings and additional paperwork. Our farmers are not health professionals and forcing this would have been irresponsible and would have only added to the regulatory burden they currently face.”


We are appreciative that calmer heads prevailed on each of these bills.