February 23, 2023
O’Mara said, “Governor Hochul and her Cuomo-appointed labor commissioner had the chance 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 State Senator George Borrello:
While not a surprise, the Commissioner of Labor’s final approval of the recommendation to lower the farm worker overtime threshold to 40 hours per week ends any hope that facts and common sense might somehow prevail on this issue.
We fought long and hard against this decision for more than two years. However, it became apparent during the process that the ‘decision’ had been made before a single hearing was held.
Our farmers are among the growing list of casualties of the politically driven agenda that governs every consequential action here in New York State. The costs of this decision will go beyond the balance sheet. Family legacies, rural economies and the strength of our food supply chain will be impacted by this historically bad decision in the years ahead.”