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December 2012 Senator Dean G. Skelos, Majority Leader State Capitol Room 330 Albany, NY 12247 Dear Senator Skelos: It is my pleasure to present the annual report of the New York State Senate Standing Committee on Agriculture detailing the activities of the Committee in 2012. New York farmers have been feeding the world for over 386 years, since the first European settlers arrived here and planted the crops that would be shipped back to their homelands. Today, agriculture is our state’s leading industry, and new technology and products are helping New York build upon its successes that have placed the Empire State at the forefront in various sectors of U.S. agriculture. While many of the state’s 36,000 farmers faced another year of challenging growing conditions, the value of their production exceeded $5.2 billion. The members of the Senate Agriculture Committee have been proud to partner with Governor Cuomo to find ways to help farmers meet the challenges of new and changing market places, and help grow New York’s already thriving agriculture economy, and this Annual Report details just some of those efforts over the past 12 months. I wish to thank you, the members of the Committee, and all our colleagues, for supporting our family farmers, and helping to grow agriculture—and helping to grow New York. Sincerely,
Patty Ritchie Chair, Senate Agriculture Committee
2013 Senate Agriculture Committee Priorities
• Reducing Taxes on Farmers • Cutting Red Tape • Expanding Markets • Growing Jobs on the Farm
2012 Senate Committee on Agriculture Members
Senator Patty Ritchie
Senator Patrick Gallivan Senator Thomas F. O’Mara Senator Michael H. Ranzenhofer Senator James L. Seward Senator Catharine Young Senator Tony Avella Senator Shirley L. Huntley Senator Timothy M. Kennedy (Ranking Member) Senator David J. Valesky
Staff Theodore T. Kusnierz, Director Sheila O’Sullivan, Counsel Mark Walczyk, Committee Clerk
Senate Standing Committee on Agriculture 2012 Annual Report
Submitted Pursuant to Rule VIII (4) New York’s 36,000 farm families compete in a global marketplace and play a critical role in our growing economy. In nearly every county of the state, family farmers work not only to feed millions, but also to provide the raw materials for a host of manufacturing companies, ranging from furniture makers to yogurt producers. It’s the role of the Senate Agriculture Committee, in partnership with our colleagues in the Assembly and the Governor, to help growers and producers succeed, improve their bottom lines and, as a result, build a stronger economy and future for all New Yorkers. In 2012, the Senate Agriculture Committee’s priorities included: • Reducing mandates and fees on New York’s family farmers; • Expanding marketing opportunities for small farms; and • Restoring critical farm research, marketing and education programs that were subjected to withering budget cuts under prior Senate leadership.
What Farmers Want
Understanding that those best qualified to know the needs of farmers and agribusiness professionals are the men and women who work in the field every day, Senator Ritchie has turned to farmers, in addition to their representatives in the farm advocacy community, to learn firsthand their opinions and ideas for improving and growing the state’s largest industry. Agricultural Advisory Council—This group of 13 agricultural professionals from across the 48th Senate District includes crop, animal and dairy farmers, as well as leaders from a crosssection of agriculture-related pursuits gives real farmers a seat at the table when discussing agriculture policy and potential new laws. Senator Ritchie is the first chair of the Senate’s Agriculture Committee to formally recognize working members of the agriculture community in such a capacity. Survey of Agriculture Professionals—In another first, Senator Ritchie sponsored a survey of farmers and other agriculture professionals across her sprawling, three-county district, and made the results available to farmers across New York State through her official Senate website. Over 100 responses were received, and farmers voiced their opinions on issues ranging from the need to cut onerous red tape to a proposed new fee on milk producers which was rejected in the State Budget, largely because of farmers’ opposition.
Other findings included overwhelming support for the “Let NY Farm Act” (S.4340-A), sponsored by Senator Ritchie and Assembly Agriculture Committee Chair William Magee, and listed as a top legislative priority for the NY Farm Bureau. Support for Key Agriculture Programs Following years of devastating budget cuts to programs that are vital to the health of New York’s farming industry, Senator Ritchie and members of the Agriculture Committee fought to restore funding in two successive state budgets. The restored funding allows critical research, education and marketing programs—aimed at strengthening the bottom lines of farm businesses—to continue, and increased funding for certain programs that support research and marketing, and provided assistance to farmers impacted by twin hurricanes that impacted the state.
Expanding Markets for Farm Products
Agriculture in New York spans all four seasons
Governor Cuomo made clear his support for growing New York’s agriculture industry by sponsoring two highly promoted and well-attended “summits” to both spotlight New York farmers and help clear the way for continued growth. The first, a yogurt summit, explored regulatory relief to help farmers and manufacturers in the expanding Greek yogurt trade. New York is a major producer of the popular consumer product, accounting for 70 percent of the nation’s production. The Senate was represented at the summit by Agriculture Committee Member James L. Seward. The Governor’s second event, a Wine, Beer and Spirits Summit, spotlighted how wine, beer, spirits and cider producers have a very significant and positive effect on New York’s economy by generating more than $22 billion annually while supporting tens of thousands of jobs. These producers provide a boost to the agriculture industry by purchasing commodities to create their beverages.
The summit followed passage of a new Farm Brewery law sponsored by Senator Ritchie and Senator David Valesky (S.7727, Chapter 108, L. 2012), and modeled on the successful law that helped propel New York’s farm winery industry. This measure creates farm breweries and a farm brewery license for the manufacture and sale of beer and cider made from crops grown in New York. Specifically, the measure: • creates a new category called “New York State Labeled Beer”; • creates a new category of alcohol entitled, “New York State Labeled Cider” (which is cider made exclusively from apples grown in New York State); • creates a new Farm Brewery License; • ensures increased symmetry between farm wineries, breweries and distilleries by allowing farm breweries to sell and conduct tastings of New York labeled beer, wine or liquor from other farm breweries, farm wineries and farm distilleries and farm wineries and distilleries will be able to sell and conduct tastings of New York State labeled beer, wine or liquor; and • exempts a farm brewery licensee from annual reporting requirements to the Department of Taxation and Finance (previously, the Tax Law required certain entities to make an annual report disclosing enumerated information about their transactions with vendors, hotel operators, and recipients of amusement charges to the Department of Taxation and Finance).
Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE)
Senator Ritchie led the ﬁght against EEE, hosting two vaccination clinics for horses
The death of an Oswego County child—the fifth such fatality in Central New York—aimed a spotlight on this rare disease, for which there is no human vaccine, and propelled action from Senator Ritchie and members of the Agriculture Committee. Senator Ritchie sponsored an awareness campaign in communities throughout her district, bolstered by State Budget funding to help eradicate disease carrying mosquitoes in six impacted Central and Northern New York Counties, as well as a statewide program to protect horses that are at high risk of the disease. As a result of Senator Ritchie’s efforts: • 1,734 horses received preventative vaccines; • over 3,000 homeowners received free larvicide treatments to eradicate potential infected mosquitoes on their land and near their homes. In addition, Senator Ritchie secured State Budget funding to provide full reimbursement to impacted counties for mosquito control treatments over state-owned lands within their county. Recruiting the help of two local veterinarians, Senator Ritchie sponsored vaccination clinics for horses—including a first-ever clinic that targeted underserved and at-risk Amish farmers in St. Lawrence County—to increase public awareness of the disease, and ways to prevent its spread.
Public Hearing on Animal Abuse
The committee hosted, on May 9, 2012, a public hearing on animal abuse in Utica in the wake of an especially horrific case of abuse involving dead and emaciated dogs left in a local apartment. Speakers included representatives of Nassau County District Attorney Kathleen M. Rice, who has taken on several high-profile animal abuse cases recently, and a representative of the ASPCA. The Agriculture Committee has oversight of proposed laws concerning animal abuse, which falls under state Agriculture and Markets Law.
Legislation Considered by the Committee
Senator Ritchie chairs Senate Agriculture Committee Meeting
The New York State Senate Standing Committee on Agriculture held seven committee meetings during the 2012 Legislative Session to consider 67 bills which were referred to the committee. The committee acted upon 43 bills by “reporting” them to the Senate floor or the next committee of jurisdiction. Of that total, 12 passed the Senate and nine were signed into law by the Governor. The committee continued its focus on measures that would reduce regulations and cut red tape in an effort to allow farmers to grow and expand markets, while lowering the cost of doing business for producers and agriculture professionals in New York. The following pages include the dates, times, and locations of the committee meetings which were held this year. In addition, each bill is listed with the name(s) of its prime sponsor(s), a brief description and final legislative action during the 2012 session.
Thursday, January 19, 2012, at 9:00 AM, Room 816 LOB S.3542 (Ritchie, Gallivan, Little)/A.6024 (Reilly) – directs the State Fire Prevention and Building Code Council to implement rules and regulations that include maple production facilities and sugarhouses within the definition of agricultural buildings, so that such facilities will be qualified for exceptions for agricultural buildings. In addition, the bill allows for public access and assembly in sugarhouses as an agri-tourism activity. (Passed Senate) S.4352 (Ranzenhofer)/A.1194 (Hawley) – requires an additional 10% in matching grant funding of agricultural environmental programs implemented in watersheds which are deemed by the Commissioner of Environmental Conservation to be critical to recreational fishing. (Committed to Finance) S.4728-A (Ritchie)/A.7658A (Magee) – excludes the sale of an abstract of title to real property to be used for agricultural purposes, to either a prospective purchaser or an attorney representing a prospective purchaser, from State sales tax. (Passed Senate) S.5160-B (Ritchie)/A.7655-B (Magee) – expands the definition of crops, livestock and livestock products to include silvopasturing* products, including products from a planned and managed combination of trees, forages and commercial livestock for a productive benefit. (Passed Senate) *Silvopasturing is the scientifically-based, ecologically-sound practice of livestock grazing in wooded areas which can yield numerous benefits for farm operations. Tuesday, January 31, 2012, at 9:00 AM, Room 816 LOB S.770 (Young, Ranzenhofer, Ritchie) – includes game birds bred or raised in conjunction with a Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Class A Game Bird License within the definition of “livestock and livestock products” under the Agricultural Districts Law. (Passed Senate) A.2370-A (Seward, Grisanti, Johnson, Larkin, Ranzenhofer, Ritchie)/A.5485-A (Magee) – exempts establishments that are engaged in the processing of homemade baked goods, spice or powders that are to be sold exclusively at farmers’ markets or roadside stands from the definition of a “food processing establishment” and includes grinding within the term “processing.” Currently, these establishments are deemed food processing establishments under Agriculture and Markets Law, Art. 20-C. Therefore, such products must be processed in commercial facilities. (Committed to Rules)
S.2485 (Little, Ritchie)/A.444 (Magee) – relates to the harvest of timber on non-protected State lands and directs the Wood Products Development Council to work to improve public understanding of the timber industry and allows the Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) to execute a contract which shall be valid and enforceable without first being approved by and filed with the State Comptroller, if the estimated value of the trees, timber or other forest products does not exceed $50,000. (Passed Senate) S.5499 (Ritchie, Gallivan)/A.7657 (Magee) – amends the Agriculture and Markets Law and the Environmental Conservation Law to ensure that consumer packaging of maple syrup offered for sale be plainly and conspicuously marked as to the grade and deems wash water produced during the process of making maple syrup to not be a pollutant, therefore exempting such operations from SPDES permit requirements. (Committed to Rules) Tuesday, March 6, 2012, at 9:00 AM, Room 816 LOB S.771 (Young)/A.6281 (Magee) – specifies that the following information and data collected and maintained by the Department of Agriculture and Markets related to the registration and identification of farm premises and animals is confidential and not subject to public disclosure: • • • • the names and addresses of owners and premises contacts; the location of premises where animals are kept; the identification number of a premises or an animal; and all business, production and inventory data for animal production units.
Allows the department to disclose such information to any agency or to the public if it determines that such disclosure will aid in the law enforcement process or the protection of public or animal health and safety. The department may also disclose any summary data on the state of animal health on farms in the State and summary information which describes current animal health status and trends, but shall not publicly identify individual farms or producers. (Passed Senate) Note: In 2008, the USDA canceled its mandatory premise registration directive and the national animal ID system is now voluntary. Currently, all information collected by the Department of Agriculture Markets is available to the public following a FOIL request. That includes production and health data which can be viewed as proprietary. S.791 (Young, Gallivan, Ranzenhofer)/A.5865 (Gunther) – empowers the Department of Agriculture and Markets to develop best management practices in conjunction with the State Soil and Water Conservation Committee for the classification, operation and maintenance of farm pond dams. Defines “farm pond dam” to mean those dams which meet guidelines established by the Department and installed to principally enhance agricultural, environmental, and conservation benefits on farms. (Passed Senate)
S.793-A (Young, Breslin, Gallivan, O’Mara, Ranzenhofer, Ritchie, Valesky )/A.6282-A (Magee) – at the request of the Legislative Commission on Rural Resources - includes “retail farm operations” within the definition of a “farm operation” for the purpose of extending certain protections which are provided for under the state’s Right-to-Farm Law. The measure defines a “retail farm operation” to mean a seasonal or annual enterprise with either permanent or nonpermanent structures that are operated for the purposes of selling predominantly farm and food products in conjunction with or in support of land used in agricultural production. The bill requires that such portion of the farm and food products exceed 50 percent of the gross annual income of the retail operation. “Farm and food products” are defined to mean any agricultural, horticultural, forest or other product of the soil or water, including but not limited to fresh or processed fruits, vegetables, eggs, dairy products, meat and meat-products, poultry and poultry products, fish and fish products, apple cider, fruit juice, wine, ornamental plants, nursery products, flowers and Christmas trees. (Passed Senate) S.2409-E (Grisanti)/A.10652 (Rules) – directs the Department of Agriculture and Markets to develop a training, examination, and certification program for dog control, police, and peace officers who deal with animal control or animal abuse issues. The measure also allows local governments to require individuals appointed as dog control officers to complete such a course and successfully pass an examination given by the Department. The measure exempts police and peace officers who deal with animal control or abuse issues from such training and certification. (Passed Senate) S.4340-A (Ritchie, Gallivan, Grisanti, LaValle, Libous, Bonacic, Larkin, Seward, Griffo, DeFrancisco, Young, Ball, O’Mara, Valesky, McDonald, Little, Johnson, Maziarz, Ranzenhofer)A.5286-A (Magee) – enacts the “Let New York Farm Act” which amends Agriculture and Markets Law, Tax Law, Vehicle and Traffic Law, and Environmental Conservation Law in relation to reducing farm based taxes, fees and regulations. Creates a refundable investment tax credit, exempts farm wineries from certain reporting requirements, reduces filing fees for agricultural businesses organized as partnerships, LLCs, and corporations, establishes an MTA agricultural vehicle supplemental registration fee exemption, reduces agriculture plate registration fees, and reduces SPDES permit fees for farm operations Specifically, the measure: • requires Agricultural District hearing notices to be provided to all landowners with land being proposed for inclusion in an agricultural district; • provides agricultural operations with a refundable investment tax credit; • exempts farm wineries from sales tax reporting requirements; • eases farm tax filing burdens by extending corporation filing fee deadlines from 60 days to 120 days after the end of the tax year for farms, commercial horse boarding operations and agricultural service providers; • exempts agricultural sprayers and livestock trailers from the supplemental fee for registrants that reside in the Metropolitan Commuter Transportation District (MCTD); • reduces agricultural plated truck registration fees from $2.51 to $2.01 per 500 lbs. max. gross weight or portion thereof (2008 level); and
• reduces State Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (SPDES) permit fees to $25.00 per disturbed acre plus $25.00 per future impervious acre for any facility that is part of a farm operation and $50.00 for a winery that is authorized to discharge pursuant to a general permit. (Committed to Finance) S.5641-A (Ritchie, Gallivan, Maziarz)/A.8329-A (Magee) – clarifies the exemption for exhibitions and entertainments on fair grounds from any special or local law or municipal ordinance which requires a license. (Committed to Rules)
The Great NY State Fair celebrates agriculture
S.6383 (Martins, Avella, Golden)/A.9158 (Clark) – extends for four years, provisions which prohibit the Commissioner of Agriculture and Markets from issuing a license to any place or establishment where animals and/or fowls are slaughtered or butchered for food within a 1,500 foot radius of a residential dwelling in New York City, until August 5, 2016. Also maintains the exemption for any premises upon which a person, firm, partnership or corporation has been continuously conducting such business prior to August 5, 2008. (Chapter 25, L. 2012) Tuesday, March 27, 2012, at 9:00 AM, Room 816 LOB A.848 (Young, Gallivan)/A.6908 (Magee) – provides for state preemption of the regulation of the sale and analysis of fertilizer thereby prohibiting municipal governments from adopting rules and regulations on fertilizer that are different from or in addition to, any requirements established under Agriculture and Markets Law. The measure also specifies that it does not preempt or otherwise limit the authority of any county or municipality to adopt and enforce zoning regulations, fire codes, building codes or waste disposal restrictions. (Committed to Rules)
S.4906-A(Klein, Montgomery, Savino)/A.7479-A (Cook) – creates a Community Gardens Task Force to identify and develop ways to encourage State agencies, municipalities and private parties to establish and expand community gardens and the activities conducted by such gardens. (Committed to Finance) S.4916 (Nozzolio) - provides that in an agricultural district with a working family farm, any producer shall have the authority to build a home on such family farm property not to supersede existing municipal law. (Committed to Rules) Note: “Producer” is presently defined to mean any person who grows, produces, or causes to be grown or produced, any farm and food products. This also includes members of the producer’s family and the producer’s employees. S.5159 (Ritchie, Gallivan, Larkin, O’Mara)/A.7656 (Magee) – allows for automatic renewal of an agricultural assessment provided that parcel eligibility is maintained and parcel acreage has not been altered in anyway and the applicant can submit records to prove such eligibility at the request of the assessor at any time. The measure also specifies that in the event that the applicant sells or ceases leasing land that is receiving the agricultural assessment, the applicant must notify the assessor within 30 days of the sale of such land or lapse of the lease. (Committed to Rules) S.5767 (Ball, Ritchie)/A.9746 (Sweeney) – provides exclusive authority to the Department of Agriculture and Markets to regulate and oversee all cervid farms and farming in the state. (Committed to Rules) Note: The Cervidae family includes white-tailed deer, mule deer (such as black-tailed deer), elk, moose, red deer, reindeer (caribou), fallow deer, roe deer and chital. S.6609 (Ritchie, Griffo, Gallivan, Maziarz, Ranzenhofer, Seward, Valesky, Young)/A.9499 (Magee) – reduces the cap on the amount of change in the base agricultural assessment value for any given year, from ten percent to two percent of the base agricultural assessment value of the preceding year. (Passed Senate) S.6774-A (Ritchie, Avella, Bonacic, Breslin, Dilan, Krueger, Stavisky)/A.9552-A (McEneny) – specifies that any person who intentionally owns, possesses, sells, transfers or manufactures animal fighting paraphernalia with the intent to otherwise promote or facilitate animal fighting is guilty of a class B misdemeanor punishable by imprisonment for up to 90 days or by a fine of up to $500, or both. If such individual is convicted again within five years, such person is guilty of a misdemeanor, punishable by imprisonment for up to one year or by a fine of up to $1,000, or both. Defines “animal fighting paraphernalia” to mean equipment, products, or materials of any kind that are used, intended for use, or designed for use in the training, preparation, conditioning or furtherance of animal fighting. (Chapter 144, L. 2012)
Tuesday, May 1, 2012, at 9:00 AM, Room 816 LOB S.847-A (Young, Breslin, O’Mara, Ranzenhofer, Ritchie, Valesky)/A.6212-A (Magee) – at the request of the Legislative Commission on Rural Resources - increases the maximum allowable acreage for farm woodland which would be eligible for an agricultural assessment from 50 acres to 100 acres. (Passed Senate) S.4494 (Martins, Storobin)/A.6439 (Rosenthal) – increases the fines for failing to adhere to kosher certification when selling or packing food, from $1,000 to $2,500 for the first violation, and from $5,000 to $7,500 for a second violation. [A third and subsequent violations are currently capped at $10,000.] (Chapter 304, L. 2012) S.5083 (Ball, Addabbo)/A.1632 (Tedisco) – specifies that a person is guilty of aggravated cruelty to animals when, in the course of the commission of a felony or in the immediate flight therefrom, such person causes physical injury or death to a companion animal. (Committed to Codes) S.5084 (Ball, Addabbo, Maziarz)/A.1580 (Tedisco) – prohibits a person convicted of aggravated cruelty to animals from owning or possessing a companion animal unless authorized by a court order after appropriate psychiatric or psychological testing which indicates by clear and convincing evidence that the person is capable and has sound mental capacity and ability to own and properly care for such an animal in a humane manner. (Committed to Rules) S.5702-A (Klein)/A.7502-B (Paulin) – prohibits the use of a cage or box dryer at a companion animal grooming facility which contains a heating element with the heating element turned on for the purpose of drying or aiding in the drying of a companion animal. Defines a “cage and box dryer” to mean a product that is attached to or near a cage or box for the purpose of drying or aiding in the drying of a companion animal contained in a cage or box, and which is capable of functioning without a person manually holding a dryer. Specifies that a “companion animal grooming facility” means an establishment where a companion animal may be bathed, brushed, clipped or styled for a fee. Establishes that a violation shall be punishable by a civil penalty of at least $250, but nor more than $500. (Chapter 119, L. 2012) S.6730-A (Fuschillo, Carlucci, DeFrancisco, Dilan, Golden, Hannon, Johnson, Larkin, LaValle, Martins, Maziarz, Oppenheimer, Robach, Serrano, Stavisky, Valesky)/A.9917-A (Rosenthal) – clarifies, modernizes, and restructures the animal cruelty laws by transplanting certain sections of the Agriculture and Markets Law into the Penal Law, re-defining terms, retitling offenses, altering the classification of certain animal crimes offenses, delineating specific sentencing provisions, and establishing various new offenses. (Committed to Codes) S.6962 (Ritchie)/A.9858 (Magee) – clarifies that commercial equine operations are able to receive an agricultural assessment not just in years one and two following an operation’s access to the program, but in year three and beyond, as long as the operation meets the eligibility requirements set forth in statute. (Chapter 344, L. 2012)
Tuesday, May 15, 2012, at 9:00 AM, Room 816 LOB S.773 (Young)/A.4055 (Magee) – this measure specifies that no person, firm, limited liability company or corporation shall fill, refill or otherwise deliver liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) into any liquefied petroleum gas cylinder, container or receptacle with a water capacity of more than 10 gallons, unless they are the owner of such container or a person authorized in writing by the owner. (Vetoed, Veto Memo 136, 2012) S.6964-A (Carlucci, Kennedy, Klein, Savino, Valesky) – this measure establishes the Shop: Pride of New York Program for wholesale and retail sellers of food and food products produced in New York State. (Committed to Finance)
New York is a leading producer of apples
S.6965 (Valesky, Carlucci, Kennedy, Klein, Savino)/A.9877 (Magee) – this bill directs the Commissioner of Agriculture and Markets to establish a Dine: Pride of New York Program for restaurants which use ingredients produced in New York State. (Committed to Finance) S.7136 (Young, O’Mara)/A.10085 (Lupardo) – this bill specifies that a dog that has been released from its confinement for hunting or training purposes, in accordance with the Environmental Conservation Law, shall be deemed to be under the reasonable control of its owner or trainer, and not be deemed to be running at large. The measure also requires a dog control, peace or police officer to make a fair and reasonable effort to determine whether any dog found or suspected of running at large is a dog engaged in hunting, training or other activities in accordance with the Environmental Conservation Law before charging the owner or trainer of such dog with any violation. (Committed to Rules) S.7268-A (Ball, Skelos, Gallivan, Grisanti, LaValle, Oppenheimer)/A.697-D (Paulin) – this bill establishes requirements for pet dealers for the care and sale of cats and dogs which include an exercise plan, an isolation area for animals that exhibit symptoms of contagious disease or illness, a written program of veterinary care with regular visits to the pet dealer’s premises, and daily observation of all animals to assess their health and well-being. (Chapter 110, L. 2012)
S.7277-A (Grisanti)/A.9593-A (Dinowitz) – this measure requires unit pricing in chain stores that sell over $2.5 million worth of grocery products per year. Specifically, the measure exempts convenience stores which include small stores that typically sell motor fuel, tobacco products, fast food and beverages and do not offer sufficient quantity of consumer commodities to make unit pricing useful to consumers (with gross sales of under $2.5 million in the previous year). Stores that are part of a network of subsidiaries, affiliates or other member stores, under direct or indirect common control, with five or more stores located in New York which as a group had annual gross sales in the previous calendar year of $2.5 million or more of consumer commodities, would be required to institute unit pricing. (Chapter 427, L. 2012) Tuesday, June 5, 2012, at 9:00 AM, Room 816 LOB S.850 (Young, O’Mara, Ranzenhofer/A.2164 (Magee) – This bill authorizes the Commissioner of Agriculture and Markets to define and review farm conservation practices in conjunction with the State Soil and Water Conservation Committee to determine the scope of engineering, land surveying or architecture necessary for such practices on an on-going basis. (Committed to Rules) S.2015 (LaValle, Griffo, Maziarz, Oppenheimer))/A.299 (Glick) – this bill establishes an animal abuser registry for any individual who has been convicted of a felony violation of animal abuse which will be maintained by the Division of Criminal Justice Services. (Committed to Finance) S.4342-A (Lanza, Avella)/A.3317-A (Cusick) – this bill transfers regulation and oversight of horse stables in New York City from the Department of Consumer Affairs to the NYS Department of Agriculture and Markets and requires yearly inspections. The bill also establishes stable standards for care that include lighting, temperature, cleanliness, food and water. Exempts carriage horses and horses subject to regulation under the Racing, Pari-mutual Wagering and Breeding Law. (Committed to Finance)
S.4533-A (Carlucci, Ritchie, Klein, Savino, Valesky)/A.7971-A (Magee) – this bill authorizes the operation of home wine makers centers as food processing establishments under the jurisdiction of the Department of Agriculture and Markets (such centers are places where individuals pay a fee to use space and equipment for the purpose of making wine for personal household use and not for resale). Specifies that the fee for a written consent letter authorizing a winery, farm winery or micro-winery to operate a home wine makers center shall be $125. The measure also authorizes wineries, farm wineries and micro-wineries to operate such a business and establishes the following requirements for a person engaging in the production of wine at a home wine makers center: • must be 21 years of age or older; • shall be limited to producing not more than 50 gallons of wine during any calendar year; provided that if there are one or more other persons who are twenty-one years of age residing in the same household as such person, and all other such persons in the same household may produce an aggregate of not more than 100 gallons of wine for the household during any calendar year; • may remove the wine he or she produces at the home wine makers center for the purpose of personal use, including use in contests or tastings; • shall not produce wine for sale or offer such wine for sale; • shall produce not less than five gallons of wine in each calendar year; • may jointly produce wine with persons residing in a different household or households as long as the quantity of wine made is within the quantity limits specified pursuant to federal law, rules and regulations; and • shall use fruit grown or produced in the state of New York to produce the wine. (Passed Senate) S.6778 (Ritchie, Avella, O’Mara, Seward)/A.9960 (Magee) – Department Bill #96 - this bill specifies that after the initial grant of agricultural assessment, the annual application shall be on a form prescribed by the Commissioner of Taxation and Finance and shall consist of only a certification by the landowner that the landowner continues to meet the eligibility requirements for receiving an agricultural assessment and seeks an agricultural assessment for the same acreage that initially received an agricultural assessment. The measure also requires the landowner to maintain records documenting such eligibility which must be provided to the assessor upon request. In addition, the bill requires a landowner to apply for an agricultural assessment for any change in acreage, whether land is added or removed, after the initial grant of agricultural assessment. (Chapter 160, L. 2012) S.7114 (Klein)/A.10101 (Ortiz) – this bill establishes provisions to combat the incidence of adult and childhood obesity and provides for direct marketing of fresh vegetables and fruits in areas with a high incidence of adult and child obesity. It also directs Cornell’s Cooperative Extension Program to offer obesity and respiratory disease prevention programs. (Committed to Finance)
Agriculture Bills Acted On By Rules Committee
S.3804-A (Ball)/A.1506-A (Tedisco) - requires each violator of “Buster’s Law” to register his or her name and address with the Division of Criminal Justice Services. (Passed Senate) S.7611-A(Ritchie)/A.7140-B (Magee) – this bill makes technical changes to legislation which was passed as part of the 2010 State Budget which empowered municipalities to design and implement dog licensing programs to meet the needs of their respective locality. Among the various technical changes and clarifications, the bill clarifies that surcharges on optional purebred dog licenses and dog licenses be submitted to the Commissioner of Agriculture and Markets to facilitate the operation of the Animal Population Control Program. (Chapter 446, L. 2012)
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