Skip to main content

NYS Senate

'Farm Death Bill' to get Senate ag committee hearing

By Howard B. Owens

The Farmworker Fair Labor Practices Act, also known in these parts as the "farm death bill," will be the subject of a public hearing March 1 by the State Senate Agriculture Committee.

Sen. Darrel Aubertine (D-48) chairs the ag committee and requested the hearing after the bill, S-2247-B, passed the Senate's labor committee.

Aubertine told the Syracuse Post-Standard:

“This hearing will enable us for the first time as a committee to listen to the concerns of both the advocates for this bill and the farmers who will bear the responsibility of adhering to its new regulations,” said committee Chair Sen. Darrel Aubertine.

“We need to better assess the impact of this bill and be sure that we have the facts regarding how this bill will affect our economy, our farm workers and our family farms. We’ve lost more than a farm a day in New York State over the past 30 years and there’s no question that we cannot afford to lose another industry, especially agriculture, which is a cornerstone of our economy,” he said.

Opponents of the bill say it will devastate New York's 35,000 family farms, driving up costs and causing many farm workers to earn less.

The bill could also increase the costs of farm goods for consumers.

In an e-mail, Aubertine invited interested parties to submit testimony on the bill, which he said subjects farmers to new, complex mandates presenting a yet-undetermined impact on New York's food supply.

About the hearing, Aubertine wrote:

The Agriculture Committee will be hearing testimony on the proposed Farmworker Fair Labor Practices Act on March 1st in Hearing Room A of the Legislative Office Building. While there is limited availability to provide oral testimony, I encourage you to share written testimony with the committee. If you would like to provide testimony on this topic, please contact Sarah Blood, Senate Agriculture Committee Director, at 518-455-2761 or by February 26. Please also provide a copy of your testimony to the committee no later than February 26. The Hearing will be streamed live via the the Senate Website starting at 9:00 AM.   

According to Wikipedia, Aubertine is a dairy farmer. He represents a primarily Republican, agriculture district. He is the only working farmer currently in the Senate.

Ranzenhofer now part of Senate majority as two Democrats switch sides

By Howard B. Owens

Sen. Mike Ranzenhofer says, "majority rules," and for the first time in his short legislative career, he's now in the majority.

Ranzenhofer spoke with WBTA's Dan Fischer today about the shift in power in the state Senate and said the decision by two Democrats to support changes in the Senate leadership and rule changes ends five months of his frustration with government being operated in secret.

"Up until yesterday there were 32 members who wanted to take the state in one direction," Ranzenhofer said. "As of yesterday there are 32 members who now want to take the state in another direction."

Listen to full interview.

Authentically Local