Magee Bills Pass Assembly

 

Legislation to expand Pride of New York program passed the Assembly

In an effort to encourage more consumers to “buy local”, Assemblyman Bill Magee (D-Nelson) announced the Assembly passed two pieces of legislation that he prime sponsored to expand the Pride of New York program (A.9877 and A.9868).

“Having grown up in a rural farming community myself, I recognize the value of promoting local goods,” Assemblyman Magee said. “Pride of New York is a win-win, as it benefits area farmers and business owners, while providing a boost to our local economy.”

The first of the two bills would establish the Dine: Pride of New York program by creating a logo for restaurants that have 15 percent or more of their products made in New York (A.9877). Qualifying restaurants would be able to display the logos on their doors, store fronts or websites, allowing restaurant patrons to easily identify and support local products, while simultaneously encouraging more businesses to buy local.

“More than ever, people are realizing the importance of supporting local farms and businesses by purchasing goods made right here, in our backyard,” Assemblyman Magee said. “Local restaurants and farmers can increase revenue by displaying the Pride of New York logo, and customers can have the satisfaction of knowing they’ve helped their neighborhood farmers and business owners.”

The second bill would establish the Shop: Pride of New York program and allow food wholesalers to display the Pride of New York logo if 20 percent or more of their products are New York products (A.9868). This would help get more local goods on the shelves, promote wholesalers and retailers offering local products and give families further access to local goods.

“The Pride of New York program helps to promote the state’s agriculture industry and local businesses, something we need to do with the economy struggling,” Assemblyman Magee said.

Assemblyman Bill Magee has long fought for measures to help promote agriculture, including helping pass an on-time, fee-free, farm-friendly budget, which included funding for all of the vital agriculture assistance programs.

All qualifying businesses would be given advertising and promotional materials free of charge and would be further promoted by having their business name on the Pride of New York website, Assemblyman Magee noted.

Bill to bring fresh produce to seniors passes Assembly

In an effort to continue supporting seniors and products grown local, Assemblyman Bill Magee (D-Nelson) announced that the Assembly passed legislation he introduced to establish a Farm-to-Senior program (A.10308). This bill facilitates and promotes the purchase of products produced in New York farms by senior centers and other senior communities (A.10308).

“Our regions thrive on farms that produce high-quality foods,” Assemblyman Magee said. “This program would extend our fresh-farm goods so that our seniors can enjoy them too.”

In 2002, New York State successfully established the Farm-to-School program, bringing fresh, local goods to schools statewide. Assemblyman Magee’s bill would mirror the program and provide the same access to seniors, while expanding a potential new market for farmers.

“Almost all of New York State farms are family-owned and operated,” Assemblyman Magee said. “Branching out beyond our usual markets will be good for our hardworking families and good for our seniors.”

This bill joins Assemblyman Magee’s legislation introduced last month in the push to promote New York-made goods. Assemblyman Magee’s two earlier bills would expand the Pride of NY program by providing designation to restaurants for “Dine: Pride of New York” and to retailers and wholesalers for “Shop: Pride of New York.”

This new bill would also establish a promotional event, known as “New York Golden Harvest: Seniors Week,” to further promote the program among seniors, Assemblyman Magee added.

Legislation to create farm brewery licenses passes Assembly

In an effort to help local farmers and businesses grow and create jobs, Assemblyman Bill Magee (D-Nelson) announced the Assembly passed legislation he authored to allow farms to grow, brew and sell locally made beer (A.10694). This legislation is expected to become law.

“New York’s craft brewing industry supports more than $200 million of economic activity each year,” Assemblyman Magee said. “Under this law, farmers and brewers will be given many more options to expand their businesses and market their products. Craft beer brewed on farms will be able to be sold at farmers markets and the crops needed to brew beer will be allowed to be grown – giving our agricultural economy a much-needed shot in the arm.”

Assemblyman Magee’s bill will allow farm breweries to sell their product, for consumption off the premises, at state fairs, county fairs and farmers markets. In addition, this measure will allow farm brewery licensees to manufacture, bottle and sell food products and condiments, as well as store and sell other items, such as non-alcoholic beverages, food items, beer supplies and accessories, beer-making equipment and souvenirs.

Locally, this measure paves the way for Empire Brewing Company, a Syracuse restaurant that brews its own beer, to move ahead with plans to build a stand-alone brewery just outside of Cazenovia, helping expand economic growth and create new jobs in the community, Assemblyman Magee added.

“Assemblyman Magee clearly recognizes the contribution the craft brewing industry is making to revive the state’s economy by creating jobs and allowing a clear path for farm brewery agritourism,” David Katleski, owner of Empire Brewing Company and president of the New York State Brewers Association, said. “This legislation gives incentives which will allow brewers and farmers to work together revitalizing the once thriving hop industry throughout the state, particularly Madison County – once the hop growing capital of the world. The new Farm Brewery license will also encourage farmers to grow much needed barley used in the brewing process. The overall deal announced by the Governor and legislative leaders last week, gives us the help we need to continue to add jobs and keep prices down for our loyal customers while strengthening our bond with area farmers.”

In order to qualify for the farm brewery license, farms must manufacture, store, and sell New York State-labeled beer and/or cider, and have an annual production capacity of 60,000 barrels or less. To be considered New York State-labeled beer or cider, the products must be made from New York State-grown ingredients or apples, respectively, which will further boost farm sales, Assemblyman Magee said.

Assemblyman Magee is also co-sponsoring a measure that would provide a tax credit or refund of 14 cents per gallon for New York brewers on the first 50,000 gallons produced in state, and another 4.5 cents-per-gallon credit for the next 15 million gallons (A.10695). This bill will also waive the annual brand label registration fee of $150 for brands sold in state, as long as less than 1,500 gallons of each brand are produced every year.

 

 

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