A major victory was achieved tonight on behalf of the Upstate New York agriculture industry, when the Farm Labor Bill that would have devastated the Upstate farming industry was rejected by the New York State Senate.
This proposal was a clear example of New York City legislators who do not understand the unique needs of our Upstate farms. The effects of this ill-conceived legislation would have been catastrophic to our State’s top industry. Thousands of farms would have gone under. Countless jobs at local farms, orchards, processing plants and farm supply businesses would have been lost.
This legislation, which was defeated in a 31-28 vote, would have created the most repressive labor mandates in the entire country, adding devastating costs to New York’s farms. There is no question that farms would be shut down for good, and the economic fallout would send shockwaves across the entire State.
As State Senator, I opposed this disastrous proposal from the very beginning. In April, I fought hard along with several of my colleagues and members of the New York State Farm Bureau to defeat the Farm Labor Bill in the Senate Agriculture Committee.
The New York City legislators, with backing from the Working Families Party, once again tried to force this legislation on Upstate New York’s farm communities, and once again they were defeated. I voted against this legislation and led the debate in opposition when the bill came before the full Senate. You can click here to watch video of my remarks on the Senate floor against this disastrous bill.
At a time when farmers are struggling, we need to do everything we can to support our Upstate farms, not impose new regulations that will make it harder for them to survive. I am pleased that the Farm Labor Bill has been defeated and I will continue to advocate on behalf of New York’s agricultural industry.