8 Economic Sectors

Analysis of some of the key sectors of the local economy By Lou Sorendo 1 Agriculture As 2020 unfolds, the Oswego County agricultural community is awaiting proposed changes to a bill that looks to threaten its very well being. Gov. Andrew Cuomo recently unveiled his 2020 budget plan, and in it, he proposes changes to the Farm Laborers Fair Labor Practices Act. The law protects farm worker rights and ensures every farm worker benefits from the basic labor protections and rights that all other workers in the state have. One provision of the law that the New York Farm Bureau is seeking to change involves the definition of the word “family,” said Mark James, senior field adviser-membership strategy specialist for the New York Farm Bureau. “The law says that you have to pay extended family members overtime, and provide disability insurance and workers’ compensation,” James said. “For a small family, that is very onerous.” The law that is in effect exempts only immediate family members from the law, such as a husband, wife and children. However, the typical family farm involves members of the extended family as well, such as aunts, uncles and cousins. James said he spoke with an area farmer whose farm has been in the family for 180

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