Why Farming in New York Could Get More Expensive

Date: May 17, 2016 Last Edit: May 19, 2016

Assembly Bill 4762 would enact burdensome regulations on New York farmers.

Why Farming in New York Could Get More Expensive

New York farmers might be seeing more regulations

 The Legislature is considering Assembly Bill
4762, a bill that would impose several harmful mandates on New York farms,
tightening an already slim bottom line for farm owners.

The legislation would give workers collective
bargaining rights, mandate time-and-a-half overtime pay, requires workers have
24 hours of continuous rest each week, provides unemployment insurance to farm
workers and mandates an eight-hour workday for farm employees.

Such harsh regulations would further increase the
cost of farming, and it would only exacerbate the strain farm owners feel from
the minimum wage increase Gov.
Cuomo signed in April.

 “This legislation would spell disaster for the
agricultural industry, especially on the back on the recent minimum wage
increase,” said Jeff Williams, director of public policy at the New York Farm
Bureau. “New York farms can’t continue to swallow unworkable business mandates
while facing persistently low commodity prices.”

Unlike other industries, farmers do not set the
prices of their produce; it is determined by the supply and demand of the
global market. Therefore, when the cost of doing business goes up, farm owners
don’t have many options to combat the increase in expenses.

 Many of New York’s labor policies—such as
12-weeks of paid leave and a $15 minimum wage—have made it difficult for
small businesses to thrive in a state that isn’t business friendly, NFIB
previously reported. NFIB and other small business advocates oppose the bill.
It is currently being debated in committee.

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