New York Minimum Wage
Through participation in a coalition, the Alliance was successful in mitigating the impact on agriculture from New York’s minimum wage increase. The minimum wage will increase to $12.50 over five years throughout Upstate New York, while $15 will be law of the land in New York City, Westchester County and Long Island. The downstate phase-in will range from three to six years.
Governor Supports Collective Bargaining
The New York Civil Liberties Union filed a farm labor lawsuit against the State of New York, and Governor Andrew Cuomo, arguing that current prohibitions against collective bargaining and mandatory overtime are unconstitutional. Governor Cuomo stated he will not contest the suit and the Alliance signed an industry letter strongly criticizing the Governor for his actions. New York Farm Bureau filed a motion in State Supreme Court to become party to the suit and thus defend their members from this egregious case. The Alliance will continue to closely monitor this development.
Alliance Aids in Reasonable Minimum Wage Reform
Through participation in a large business coalition, the Alliance was successful in mitigating the agricultural impact from New York’s minimum wage increase The minimum wage will increase to $12.50 over five years throughout Upstate New York, while $15 will be law of the land in New York City, Westchester County and Long Island. The downstate phase-in will range from three to six years.
State Policy Position Statement
The Alliance recognizes the existence of appropriate voluntary consumer labeling programs for food and does not support state level food labeling to identify specific production practices.
State Policy Background
Priorities for the Northeast Agribusiness and Feed Alliance include supporting farmers use of science-based practices and crop production technology such as GMOs, for the production of quality food. The Alliance identifies that a well-structured voluntary food labeling program exists through the USDA organic program and does not support increased state level regulatory oversight of food labeling to identify specific production practices.
The preponderance of the peer-reviewed scientific literature strongly supports the safety and environmental benefits of genetically modified foods. The nutritional value of genetically modified foods does not differ from conventional foods and we will need these biotechnologies to feed a growing world population.
Despite the overwhelming scientific evidence of the safety of genetically modified foods, the Alliance does acknowledge the right of consumers to know the source of ingredients in the foods they choose to purchase. If adopted federally, the designation on food labels of ingredients as genetically modified should be confined to the ingredients section of the label in the same font size and color as the rest of the ingredients listed. Any statements of GMO ingredients receiving greater prominence on the label would be viewed by the Alliance as misbranding.
The Vermont General Assembly passed a law to protect clean water in 2015. In passing the Vermont Clean Water Act, Vermont's leadership recognized the need for a long-term, stable source of state funding and set the state on a course to establish a new funding program.
Vermonters were expecting a clear funding proposal for lake clean up to be issued in late 2017, instead, the Scott administration is suggesting yet another study.
Businesses, landowners, farmers and government officials at the federal, state and local level need to know that funding will be available to support their own planning efforts and long-term investments.
If we are to move to a more strategic use of our limited public and private funds, the state of Vermont must play a leadership role in building the partnerships necessary to address the complex challenge of restoring our state's waters. The state cannot play that role without a significant and stable source of state funds.