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Oral Testimony by Invitation Only


Agriculture and Consumer Affairs and Protection Budget Implementation Hearing


To review state agency implementation of the enacted State fiscal year 2005-06 budget.

Friday, December 16, 2005
12:00 p.m.

Roosevelt Hearing Room C
Legislative Office Building, 2nd Floor
Albany, NY

This hearing will review the budget implementation initiatives of state agencies under the jurisdiction of the Assembly Standing Committees on Agriculture and Consumer Affairs and Protection. This hearing will review agency budget policy for State fiscal year 2005-06. Please see below for a list of subjects to which witnesses may direct their testimony.

Oral testimony will be by invitation only. Ten copies of any prepared testimony should be submitted at the hearing registration desk. The Committees would appreciate advance receipt of prepared statements. Written testimony will also be accepted and may be sent to the contact persons listed on the reply form. In order to publicize the hearing further, please inform interested parties of the Committees' interest in receiving written testimony from all sources.

In order to meet the needs of those who may have a disability, the Senate and Assembly, in accordance with their policy of non-discrimination on the basis of disability, as well as the 1990 Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), has made its facilities and services available to all individuals with disabilities. For individuals with disabilities, accommodations will be provided, upon reasonable request, to afford such individuals access and admission to Senate and Assembly facilities and activities.

William Magee
Chair, Committee on Agriculture

Audrey Pheffer
Chair, Committee on Consumer Affairs and Protection


  1. What new initiatives has your agency undertaken due to funding in the SFY 2005-06 budget? What new initiatives, if any, does your agency anticipate for the SFY 2006-07?

  2. How many new full-time positions were filled in SFY 2005-06? Does your agency anticipate any staffing changes in SFY 2006-07?

  3. Does your agency hire consultants? If so, how many are employed by your agency and for what purpose? How many non-State personnel related to such contractual services are based on-site in your offices? How many are based elsewhere?

  4. How has the rapid rise in energy costs affected your agency so far this fiscal year? Did these costs exceed your agency's projected energy costs? Does your agency have sufficient appropriation authority to absorb the spike in energy prices?

  5. How many food safety inspector positions are currently on staff? How many were filled at the beginning of SFY 2005-06? How many were filled at the beginning of SFY 2004-05? If the number of inspector positions has increased over this time, has compliance with mandated inspections under Article 28 of the Agriculture and Markets Law increased since the restorations?

  6. Has the Department of Agriculture and Markets taken additional measures in response to the federal government's recent actions regarding avian influenza, and if so will the Department require additional dollars to assist in implementing such measures? How regularly do animal industry inspectors interact with food safety inspectors to protect public health at live poultry markets?

  7. In August 2005, the Executive signed a measure into law that requires retail food stores to have an employee on staff who regularly completes a continuing education in food safety program. Has the Department of Agriculture and Markets begun to draft regulatory guidance for this program?

  8. How many pet dealers are currently licensed? Has the Department of Agriculture and Markets been able to increase the number of mandatory inspections of pet dealers?

  9. As of January 2005 there was approximately $1.6 million in the Department of Agriculture and Markets' Animal Population Control Fund. Despite such a fund balance, county shelters are experiencing difficulty in obtaining vouchers to finance low-cost spay/neuter services. What prevents counties from receiving such vouchers?

  10. How has the Department of Agriculture and Markets thus far utilized the $2.5 million allocated in the 2005-2006 Budget for wine industry promotion?

  11. In 2004, the Executive signed a measure into law that provides for the creation of Farm, Apple and Cuisine Trails. What is the status of this program? Has the Department of Agriculture and Markets promoted the program in any way? Has an application process been established? Has the Department promulgated rules and regulations as further guidelines for this program?

  12. Does the Consumer Protection Board have adequate staff to achieve its mission to protect, educate and represent New York consumers?

  13. Does the Consumer Protection Board believe that New York consumers are well informed on identity theft prevention and mitigation techniques?

  14. Does the Consumer Protection Board support proposals to establish an identity theft ombudsman to serve as a central source of information for identity theft victims and those seeking recommendations to help prevent identity theft?

  15. What protections does the Consumer Protection Board think the State should implement to further protect New York residents from identity theft?

  16. In the SFY 2004-05, and again in SFY 2005-06, the Executive proposed increasing the civil penalty for unfair and deceptive business practices and false advertising from $500 to $5,000. Are there instances in which a usiness took advantage of this antiquated penalty and continued to violate the law after it was imposed?


Persons invited to present testimony at the public hearing on Agriculture and Consumer Affairs and Protection Budget Implementation to be held on December 16, 2005, or who wish to submit written testimony only, are requested to complete and return this reply form to:

Caryn Canfield
Legislative Associate
Assembly Committee on Agriculture
Room 513 - Capitol
Albany, New York 12248
Phone: (518) 455-4355
Fax: (518) 455-4128

box I plan to attend the public hearing on Agriculture and Consumer Affairs and Protection Budget Implementation to be conducted by the Assembly Committees on Agriculture and Consumer Affairs and Protection on December 16, 2005.

box I have been invited to make a public statement at the hearing. My statement will be limited to 10 minutes, and I will answer any questions which may arise. I will provide 10 copies of my prepared statement.


I will address my remarks to the following subjects:

box I do not plan to attend the above hearing.

box I would like to be added to the Committee mailing list for notices and reports.

box I would like to be removed from the Committee mailing list.


I will require assistance and/or handicapped accessibility information. Please specify the type of assistance required:








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