Agricultural investment task force bill passes Legislature

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Legislation critically important in light of farm labor bill passage

(ALBANY, NY) – While ongoing discussion are underway about the recently passed farm labor bill, Assemblywoman Donna Lupardo introduced and passed a bill with Senator Jen Metzger to create an agricultural investment task force (A8347/S6553). The short-term task force would develop budget and policy recommendations to address the sustainability of farming in NYS.  The bill passed unanimously through both houses on the final day of the legislative session.

“In light of the farm labor bill, it’s important that we remain focused on the sustainability of New York’s agricultural economy,” said Assemblywoman Lupardo, Chair of the Assembly Agriculture Committee. “By better understanding economic conditions farms are operating under, we can enter next year’s budget discussions with tangible solutions that will help protect and grow this critical sector of our economy.”

“Our economy, our food security, and our open spaces and environment all depend on the long-term health and success of New York’s diverse farms, the vast majority of which are family-owned,” said Senator Metzger, Chair of the Senate Agriculture Committee. “This task force will identify measures we can take right now to address current and future challenges facing agriculture in New York, and the best investments we can make to help our farms thrive and prosper.”

In order to encourage the growth of this vital industry, the sponsors believe that efforts must be undertaken to identify challenges and opportunities ahead of next year’s budget discussions. If signed into law, the task force would examine issues such as workforce development, environmental and climate impacts, and the potential for savings through tax credits, housing funds, energy efficiency upgrades and other measures.The 12-member task force would be convened by the Governor and would include representatives from the Department of Agriculture & Markets, Department of Labor, NYSERDA, Department of Environmental Conservation, Housing & Community Renewal, and Empire State Development. The remaining members would be appointed by the Senate Majority Leader, Speaker of the Assembly, and Minority Leaders of each house. The findings and recommendations of the task force would be due by November 1st.