ALBANY — Last Wednesday, the State Senate passed its one-house budget resolution for 2019-2020, providing details of Senate priorities that includes a boost to the agricultural sector, thanks to the advocacy of State Senator Jen Metzger. The Senate’s budget proposal stays within the voluntary 2% spending cap.
“As the Chair of the Senate Agriculture Committee and the representative of the most rural district in the majority, I am very pleased that I was able to successfully advocate for the needs of our rural and agricultural communities,” says Senator Metzger. “The Senate’s budget proposal provides strong support for New York’s farms, and for a thriving and sustainable agricultural economy. It demonstrates the Senate Majority’s commitment to investing in New York’s agriculture industry, and recognizes agriculture’s importance as a main economic driver for our state.”
The proposal includes:
- Full funding for New York’s diverse agricultural programs, from Cornell’s numerous agricultural research programs to industry marketing programs to the Future Farmers of America;
- Expanded funding to support programs and initiatives such as farm-to-school, the farmland preservation program, FarmNet, a carbon-farming pilot project, and Regional Navigators to match farmers with farmland, among others;
- Funding for local County Fair capital costs;
- Assistance to comply with DEC regulations governing use of waste tires.
“New York’s agricultural economy is unique, comprised primarily of family farms that produce a wide diversity of products,” Metzger continued. “In a national and international economy that favors big industrial agriculture, the programs supported in our state budget proposal will help New York farmers thrive.”
The Governor put forward his budget proposal last month, and the Senate and Assembly have now both put forward their proposals, which respond to the Governor’s budget proposals and also advance each house’s budget priorities. The next step in the budget process is for the Senate, Assembly, and Governor to negotiate the final 2019-2020 budget by the April 1 budget deadline.
Jen Metzger represents the 42nd Senate District, which includes all of Sullivan County and parts of Delaware, Orange, and Ulster Counties. Senator Metzger serves as Chair of the Agriculture Committee and sits on the Environmental Conservation, Education, Health, Energy and Telecommunications, Local Government, Women’s Issues, Domestic Animal Welfare, and Legislative Commission on Rural Resources Committees.
–The Office of NYS Senate Agriculture Committee Chair Jen Metzger
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