October 2, 2022
From Senator Tom O’Mara:
“Governor Hochul and her Cuomo-appointed labor commissioner had the opportunity to choose the future of farming over the so-called ‘progressive’ ideology that is driving this state into the ground. They have rejected thousands of farmers, farm workers, farm advocates, agricultural representatives, community leaders, and legislators, including me, who have spoken in near-unanimous opposition to this move. They have rejected the industry’s top advocates, including the New York Farm Bureau, the Northeast Dairy Producers Association, Grow NY Farms, and numerous others. They have decided to undermine an industry and a way of life that has defined the regions we represent. It will change the face of New York State agriculture as we have known it for generations. It will risk the future of high quality, local food production. It will spark the loss of more family farms and the livelihoods these farms support across the industry and throughout hundreds of local economies. At the worst possible time, Governor Hochul is mandating an even more uncertain future for family farmers, farm workers, farm communities, and New York’s agricultural industry overall. Add it to the long and growing list of terrible, politically motivated decisions by this governor.”
From Senator George Borrello:
“The decision by New York State’s Labor Commissioner to approve the Wage Board’s misguided recommendation is a surrender to the extremist wing of Democrat One Party Rule, against all the facts, data and stakeholder input that have been put forth on this issue over the past two years.
Farmers and independent analysis have concluded this action will spell the end for many farms in this once-vibrant industry and force others to scale down production, increase automation or relocate. Farm workers have repeatedly said that this move will force them to seek work in other states where they can work without limits on their earnings.
Yet, the Hochul administration has ignored all of these realities as well as the additional compensation that farm workers receive including housing, transportation and other benefits that are not provided in other industries.
The so-called tax credit that is everyone is claiming will be the solution to this issue is an optics band-aid that will come with burdensome strings attached and most likely have a short life. One Party Rule’s disastrous penchant for overspending has already put state finances in the red, which will necessitate major cutbacks, not only this year, but in the years to come. Anyone who believes this tax credit will be around for the next ten years and beyond is deluded.
This moment represents the tragic turning point where the Hochul administration decided to sacrifice New York’s farmers and agricultural industry for political expediency.”