ALBANY, N.Y.—The State Senate passed legislation (S.5552) sponsored by Senator David J. Valesky (D-Oneida) that will expand the amount of New York State local food products purchased by New York State agencies. It will also help agricultural businesses learn how to better navigate the state’s procurement system.
Eleven states, including Massachusetts, Illinois, Maryland and Oregon, have purchase preference laws allowing state entities to purchase higher priced goods from an in-state producer, if the price is within a certain percentage range of an out-of-state producer. Senator Valesky’s legislation would enable state agencies to give preference to procuring local food products, if the products cost no more than ten percent more than food products that are not grown, produced, harvested and/or processed within this state.
“State agencies, with their considerable purchasing power, have the potential to significantly benefit the agricultural industry by giving preference to local products,” Senator Valesky said. “The burgeoning ‘buy local’ movement should extend to state government, and we should make it as easy as possible for local farmers and producers to navigate the procurement process.”
The legislation also includes a training program for agricultural businesses interested in participating in the procurement process. The Office of General Services will work in conjunction with the Department of Economic Development and the Department of Agriculture and Markets to provide an annual training program in each of the economic development regions. Such a program will provide these businesses with invaluable information on navigating the procurement process and what goods are in demand but not produced in sufficient quantities to locally source.
The bill will be sent to the Assembly, where it is carried by Assemblyman William Magee.