Stec Joins Assembly Minority Conference Sending Letter to Governor in Support of Farmers

April 16, 2020

Assemblyman Dan Stec (R,C,I-Queensbury) announced today that he has joined the Assembly Minority Conference in sending a letter to the governor and legislative leaders urging them take immediate action to help New York’s farmers who are struggling during the COVID-19 pandemic. Like many other sectors of New York’s economy, the agricultural industry and local farmers have been hit hard by the economic impacts of preventing the spread of COVID-19. Stec and the Assembly Minority Conference have put forth a plan to help the state’s struggling farmers get back on their feet.

Their plan includes:

  • Suspend, for one year, DMV registration requirements for agricultural vehicles and farm trucks;
  • Suspend the highway use tax, special hauling permit fees and collection of New York state tolls for vehicles used to transport agricultural products, including milk;
  • Suspend, for one year, the 60-hour overtime threshold for farm laborers enacted as part of the 2019 Farm Labor bill;
  • Suspend, during the state of emergency period, the 24-hour agricultural rest requirement;
  • Extend the Milk Producers Security Fund to help producers who are unable to sell because of COVID-19;
  • Use additional federal stimulus money for direct cash infusions for Cornell Cooperative Extensions to assist in the provision of emergency services;
  • Use federal stimulus funding to invest in rural broadband infrastructure to assist in the provision of services to farms/rural areas during uncertain social and economic times;
  • Provide vouchers for food banks to purchase local dairy and agricultural products; and
  • Stipulate “green nurseries” as essential businesses for the remainder of the COVID-19 crisis so that these businesses can re-open while following social-distancing guidelines.

“Farmers across New York need our help right now,” said Stec. “The repercussions of COVID-19 are being felt in almost every sector of our economy, especially our local family farms. I have seen countless stories of farmers being forced to dump milk during an already-troubling time. We really need to step up and help them in any way we can so we can see them through this pandemic. It is my hope the governor will take our suggestions into consideration moving forward, our farmers are counting on it.”

A copy of the letter may be downloaded here: