Thursday, April 29, 2010
Senate Republican leader Dean Skelos on Monday said he wants the Legislature to pass a cap on school taxes. Under the proposal, school districts would not be able to increase taxes more than 2.5 percent or slightly more than the inflation rate, whichever is lower.
It’s a good idea, and we support capping spending growth, but to suggest that now is the time to do it is ridiculous.
In this area, most school districts have cut spending, but their proposed budgets also call for small tax increases. The biggest problem, of course, is that the districts have been given no indication from the Legislature what to expect for state aid next year.
So, since the rate of inflation was zero last year, given the economic recession, the Senate Republicans’ 11th hour proposal would effectively require school districts to have budgets with 0 percent tax increases for 2010-11.
Skelos said he’d like to have the new law signed before May 18, the statewide date for school budget votes.
But school districts have already spent months trying to come up with budgets, and the state-mandated deadline for holding public budget presentations begins in only two weeks.
Does anybody in Albany really believe that school districts can go back and rearrange their budgets before the public votes on May 18?
Wednesday, April 28, 2010
The committee voted 16-1, meaning the bill—which has an Assembly sponsor—will be eligible for consideration soon on the Senate floor.
“These vehicles have grown in popularity and under current law cannot be registered,” Sen. Aubertine said. “Moving this legislation out of committee today is a critical step to seeing this bill signed into law this year. Many enthusiasts are using these vehicles on the trails and registering them in other states because they want to be in compliance with the law in some way, even if our current laws do not recognize these vehicles.”
Law enforcement officials and riders from across the state, including Oswego, Jefferson and St. Lawrence counties, have asked Sen. Aubertine to carry this legislation. It would limit ATVs to 70 inches wide and increase the dry weight limit for ATVs from 1,000 lbs to 1,500 lbs, making side-by-sides and other utility terrain vehicles used on farms and for work purposes legal for registration with the state Department of Motor Vehicles. Like other ATVs, these vehicles would remain limited for use on trails and private property.
This increased weight limit for these slower vehicles would increase revenues brought in by registrations, open up markets for these vehicles and clear up confusion for law enforcement.
“This is the right thing to do for riders, for law enforcement and for our economy,” Sen. Aubertine said. “The weight limit in statute now does not cover side-by-sides and it should. These vehicles are used on our farms, enable seniors to enjoy the outdoors and allow families to bring younger riders out to enjoy the trails. We should not exclude these vehicles from the trail systems open to ATVs or deny owners the chance to register their vehicle. Pennsylvania registers these vehicles and we should here in New York State as well."
Tuesday, April 27, 2010
Senate passes legislation to include information on agriculture businesses in state promotions
ALBANY (April 26, 2010)—A bill passed by the New York State Senate today would ensure that the state’s “I Love New York” tourism promotion campaign shows love for the state’s agricultural industry.
“Agriculture and tourism are two key components in our state’s economy, both of which we have been working to promote more and more,” said Sen. Darrel J. Aubertine, chair of the Senate Agriculture Committee. “Including agricultural tourism in the I Love New York campaign will bolster both industries and help highlight the too often forgotten cornerstone of our economy in New York—the farms and agricultural businesses that support jobs statewide.”
The legislation (S.6673) passed today would authorize state agencies, including the state Department of Agriculture and Markets, to develop a program to promote and distribute statewide and regional guides featuring farms, farmers’ markets, wineries, harvest festivals, and other agriculturally significant tourist destinations. These guides could include but not be limited to already developed Ag & Markets guides.
“Agriculture should be at the forefront of our economic development efforts and this legislation recognizes the importance of our farms and agriculture businesses,” said Sen. Aubertine, who is also chair of the Senate Upstate Caucus and Legislative Commission on Rural Resources. “By promoting our farms, markets and other agricultural businesses as destinations for tourism within New York State, we are promoting local food and growing the customer base for our locally grown and locally made products.”
This legislation will ensure that when people are looking for travel information they are provided with information about agricultural guides in the area they are interested in, which will expose them to the many aspects of New York’s agriculture industry. The cost of this bill is expected to be contained within the current costs of printing already being incurred through the “I Love New York” program.
Agriculture is the foundation of our state’s economy, with about $4.5 billion in gross receipts in 2007, and about 25 percent of the state’s land is used for agriculture. The economic impact goes much further, with that money turning over in rural communities many times over. Many farms, however, are experiencing extreme hardships and are fighting for their survival. Since 1980, more than 12,000 farms have gone out of business in New York. To put this into perspective, every day over the past three decades in New York State, at least one farm has gone out of business—more than 400 every year.
Friday, April 23, 2010
According to Gheen, being gay is "a secret that Lindsey Graham has."
Gheen told the crowd: "I hope this secret isn't being used as leverage over Senator Graham, so today I think Senator Graham, you need to come forward and tell people about your alternative lifestyle and your homosexuality."
"Barney Frank is more honest and brave than you," Gheen continued, referring to the openly-gay Massachusetts congressman.
ALIPAC has posted the video titled "US Senator Graham is Gay" on YouTube, where various news outlets have covered it.
Thursday, April 22, 2010
American-owned businesses can now deduct all qualifying capital expenditures up to a limit of $250,000.
Owens is proposing to expand the deduction to an unrestricted amount for the next five years, as long as each $100,000 in deductions above the current cap creates one full-time job.
Taking the deduction will be optional.
Lost federal revenue from the expanded tax deduction would be replaced, Owens said, by income taxes paid through a newly expanded workforce and taxes from equipment sales.
"This will create a ripple effect," he said. "It will stimulate a lot of revenue that will be returned to the treasury."
Owens said he came up with the proposal after hearing from businesses throughout the district.
"I crafted this tax-deduction expansion with these business owners in mind."
Wednesday, April 21, 2010
“We really appreciate the efforts of Senator Aubertine to make sure the Ag Committee did the right thing and I look forward to his continued fighting on our behalf,” said Douglas W. Shelmidine of Sheland Farms, a dairy farm partnership with his father and brother in the town of Ellisburg, Jefferson County. “It was a good thing that happened. Senate leadership in the Ag Committee came through and won the day. The efforts of Senator Aubertine and Senator (Catharine M.) Young made the difference.”
“I’m very pleased that Senator Aubertine and the Senate Agriculture Committee put forth a very bipartisan effort to look at what they were voting on and do the right thing,” said Cathy Martin of John B. Martin & Sons Farms Inc., and president of Monroe County Farm Bureau. “For the entire Ag committee, it shows a great deal of respect for all parties involved and the taxpayers of New York State by working together to do the right thing.”
Kevin Bowman of Bowman Orchards, an apple grower in Clifton Park in Saratoga County said: “Needless to say we’re extremely happy the Ag Committee did the right thing. The chainsaws were sharpened and we would have been removing many acres of trees from production that will now remain in production.”
“This is certainly good news and we really appreciate Senator Aubertine’s leadership in opposing this legislation which would have been a tremendous hardship on farmers at a time like this when we’re already hurting,” said Jon Greenwood of Greenwood Dairy, in the town of Potsdam.
The legislation would have created onerous regulations for farms large and small, regardless of whether they have regular employees or hire a worker when needed. The bill would also require a day of rest provision, time and a half overtime, and collective bargaining. For farms with stable work force needs, these new expenses would force farmers to limit hours or reduce pay to fit within what they can afford.
“We certainly don’t need this legislation and would hurt the very people it’s intended to help,” Mr. Greenwood said. “Despite the number of unemployed, there are not a lot of people looking for farm work. Farmers are forced to pay decent wages and farmers do provide benefits to keep good employees. The proponents pushing this legislation do not understand the farm labor situation and the realities that are out there.”
Mr. Shelmidine added: “It certainly would have caused a lot of hardship and cause farms to have fewer workers or just more disorganization within the workforce as we tried to figure out ways to cope with it. It doesn’t recognize the special needs of agriculture and how we operate.” He also noted that a shortage of reliable workers has resulted in competitive wages and benefits, including regular time off.
According to the USDA, the demand for farm workers has the average wage in New York at around $10 per hour. State law requires farm wages to be at least equal to the federal minimum wage. Mr. Greenwood said that on his farm, in addition to paying competitive wages, he offers his employees regular time off, though there are times when workers put in long hours for longer stretches.
“Our farm workers understand the importance of making hay while the sun shines as the saying goes, and take time off when the weather is off,” Mr. Greenwood said. “We do understand the need to be at their kids’ events and go to the doctor. As farm owners, we’re working alongside our employees and we understand their needs. It’s not like a factory.”
Now that the bill in its current form has failed to make it through the committee process, some farmers indicated that a better approach for advocates would be to start from the ground up working with agriculture interests to develop legislation that is fair to all affected parties.
“We’re pleased with the agriculture committee’s decision and I want to thank Senator Aubertine,” said Peter Martini, vineyard manager for Martini Vineyards and the Anthony Road Wine Company in Penn Yan. “I truly appreciate all he’s doing and the work of the whole committee. We’re not against legislation, but it needs to be more carefully thought out. If they truly want a compromise the only way that can happen is if they come to the table before introducing a bill.”
“I absolutely think agriculture needs to be at the table,” Mrs. Martin added. “This is our livelihood and people are trying to justify laws that won’t necessarily help the people they’re trying to help. Sometimes the best of intentions create something that makes it worse. This bill would have destroyed the ability of farm workers to earn what they want to earn. Farm workers should be at the table too. I appreciate Senator Aubertine and Senator Young standing up for farmers across the state.”
The farmers said they appreciated the thorough process which included hearings in Watertown and Albany, plus roundtables in every region and the collection of input from farmers and other agricultural interests, including farm workers, across the state.
“There were many things brought up at the hearing that were falsehoods and half truths,” Mr. Bowman added. “We want to deal with anything that is an issue, but most of what was brought up was not the reality. It’s just the advocates trying to gain power for themselves at the expense of the residents of New York State. I thank Senator Aubertine and the committee for seeing through the rhetoric that was presented and actually looking into both sides and coming up with the proper conclusion.”
The farmers also commended the committee’s vote in support of the Farm Tax, Fee and Mandate Relief Act (S.6947A), sponsored by Sen. Aubertine.
“It’s a good bill. I think that farming is over taxed and over regulated,” said Mrs. Martin. “We have fees every day and they’re going up 50 percent or 100 percent at times. It may not go on the books as a tax increase, but we’re bearing a larger piece of the burden of paying for state government. I think this bill is a start to helping farmers and I appreciate Senator Aubertine and the committee moving this bill forward.”
Tuesday, April 20, 2010
This is an astonishing level of misunderstanding. The truth is that the major tax cuts enacted in the 2009 economic stimulus bill actually reduced federal income taxes for tax year 2009 for 98 percent of all working families and individuals. These tax cuts saved working families and individuals an average of $1,158 on the tax returns they will file by April 15. (The median tax cut was approximately $600.)
Truth About Obama Tax Cuts
Monday, April 19, 2010
Attorney General Andrew Cuomo's much-an ticipated announcement that he's running for governor could come a week from Wednesday, as he holds a major fund-raiser in Manhattan, sources said last night.
An April 28 announcement makes sense because the large crowd expected at the $1,000-a-ticket Waldorf-Astoria event "will be pumped up expecting to hear something big about the governor's race, and that would be the place to do it," said a well-positioned source.
An announcement that day would also come just two days before the start of the nominating convention of the Democratic Rural Conference, a group with which Cuomo has strong personal and political ties.
Friday, April 16, 2010
Sen. Scott Brown (R-MA) can’t explain why he opposes financial reform, asks reporter what’s wrong with it
Newly minted Sen. Scott Brown (R-MA), elected to the late Kennedy's seat in a special election, stumbled after reporters asked him why he opposed financial reform. The new legislation will take a financial toll on the nation's largest banking institutions in an effort to forestall future financial meltdowns.
Asked by the Boston Globe how he'd like to see the bill improved, Brown fumbled -- appearing not even to know what it was he wanted changed in order to garner his support.
ThinkProgress, the blog of the progressive think tank Center for American Progress, noted that their analysis found that Brown received $200,000 in campaign donations from Wall Street and business executives. $106,000 came from Wall Stre
Albany NY ... April 14, 2010 - Today, hardworking New Yorkers across the State do their civic duty and submit their taxes to Albany and Washington. Unfortunately, beyond the necessary services our taxes are intended to fund, they're paying more and more for government programs of dubious legality or value.
The taxes in New York are among the highest in the country. New York's taxpayers can no longer afford to be shackled with the debt that Democrats in control of government are accruing. Every day we see promises made by the current Democrat leadership in Albany and Washington to relieve the burden that hardworking families face, only to discover that such promises are hollow. Democrats have tried to disguise new taxes as fees for everyday activities such as using one's cell phone.
Our hard earned money has been squandered by these Democrat leaders on legislation and earmarks for their friends in special interest groups, in return for campaign help and contributions. Electing fiscally conservative Republicans, who understand the virtues of reducing spending and lowering taxes, is the only way we can reverse our trajectory and take control of our finances.
Lest we all forget, here are a just a few stats outlining Republicans' role in creating the enormous tax and debt burdens shouldered by our state:
* Under Republican rule during the Pataki-Bruno years from FY 1996 to 2008, the state budget grew nearly 100%.
* In 1996, the overall size was $62 billion; by 2008, it was $121 billion.
* Despite a strong economy, the state’s debt load grew dramatically under Republican control, nearly doubling between 1997 and 2008, from $31 to $54 billion.
* This debt stems largely from the Republicans’ refusal to hold public authorities and corporations accountable, which we now do as a result of the Public Authorities Reform Act of 2009.
* Also during this period, the debt load attributable to each and every man, woman and child in New York soared from $1,774.56 in 1997 to $2,675.70.
* Not only did Republicans turn a blind eye to accruing debt, but they also committed the state to poor loans agreements, resulting in a doubling of the state’s annual debt service: from $3 billion annually in 1997 to $5.8 billion in 2009.
* Since 1977, New York has had the highest combined state/ local tax burden in the nation for every year but three.
* New Yorkers pay almost twice the national average for local taxes.
With a record like that, Cox must be crazy - or incredibly desperate and disingenuous - to think New Yorkers would believe a word of his statement.
Joe Bruno and his lackeys in the Senate Republican conference raised taxes hundreds of times and doubled state spending in just 14 years. That's why the Republicans have continually lost Senate seats for years, why even Republican voters want to throw Republican Senators out of office, why Democratic enrollment is surging, why Republican fundraising is lagging, and why fewer than 30% of New Yorkers want the Republicans in charge of the Senate.
There is a party dedicated to restoring fiscal responsibility in Albany, but it's not the Republicans. LINK
Thursday, April 15, 2010
They hold more conservative views on a range of issues than Republicans generally. They are also more likely to describe themselves as “very conservative” and President Obama as “very liberal.”
And while most Republicans say they are “dissatisfied” with Washington, Tea Party supporters are more likely to classify themselves as “angry.”
Their responses are like the general public’s in many ways. Most describe the amount they paid in taxes this year as “fair.” Most send their children to public schools. (Paid for by Tax Dollars) A plurality do not think Sarah Palin is qualified to be president, and, despite their push for smaller government, they think that Social Security and Medicare are worth the cost to taxpayers. They actually are just as likely as Americans as a whole to have returned their census forms, though some conservative leaders have urged a boycott.
Wednesday, April 14, 2010
ALBANY (April 14, 2010)—State Sen. Darrel J. Aubertine and several of his colleagues have called on Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver and Senate Majority Conference Leader John Sampson to initiate the conference committee process.
“The fact is the Senate has begun the process and reached out to both the minority conference and the Assembly, but the process has gone nowhere,” Sen. Aubertine said. “We are in the toughest budget crisis this state has ever faced and have passed the deadline. It is imperative that we take the time to get this budget done right as soon as possible, but that should include open and public conference committees.”
In the letter, signed by Sen. Aubertine and Sens. David J. Valesky, Craig M. Johnson, Brian X. Foley, and William T. Stachowski, the Senators note that the passage of Senate and Assembly budget proposals marked the start of the formal process and to date, only one leadership level meeting has been held. The Senators said they believe the process is an appropriate and necessary vehicle for the dialogue needed to bridge the gap between budget proposals.
“We need to put people before politics here and bring everyone to the table,” said Sen. Aubertine, who is chair of the Senate Upstate Caucus. “The Assembly and the Senate, the majority and minority conferences, need to be involved in this process. Our proposals need to be reconciled and the minority conferences which have said ‘no’ need to be more involved and present their policy alternatives now, before the bills are printed.”
From the DaBrinker Report.
Last week I wrote about a story about a tip I received that Patty apparently has been telling folks that she has been promised $500,000from Senator Skelos. Watertown Mayor Jeff Graham commented on the $500,000 story:
The Democratic operatives who write DaBrinker want to make hay over the fact Patty Ritchie has told friends the Senate GOP has promised her a half million for her bid to unseat Senator Darrel Aubertine. In all fairness, while Team Darrel may want to make that sound she is beholden, the fact is they all are....The nightly register ring at Pete's is more the either party could actually raise locally...The big bucks have to come from elsewhere.
If its only a half million, that may not be enough....The last two times around this district has produced multi-million dollar races.
The Mayor completely missed the point. Sure there are concerns about Long Island Senator Dean Skelos calling the shots in the North Country or that Patty will be a sock puppet with no control of her messaging. But the bigger concern is, if this is true - which is extremely likely, than Patty has proven herself to be a liar. She has lied about who's funding her campaign. It makes you question everything else she has been saying such as: her position on abortion; her claim she'll run a positive campaign; and what she really stands for in general. Patty needs to start telling the truth.
Tuesday, April 13, 2010
CUOMO STOMPS LITTLE-KNOWN REPUBLICANS 2-1, QUINNIPIAC UNIVERSITY NEW YORK STATE POLL FINDS; PATAKI WOULD TOP GOP FIELD, LEAD GILLIBRAND
|New York State Attorney General Andrew Cuomo has a 74 - 14 percent job approval rating and commanding leads of 2-1 or more against the little-known Republican contenders in the race for Governor, according to a Quinnipiac University poll released today.|
| With 40 percent of Republican voters undecided, former U.S. Senate candidate Rick Lazio leads in a primary for Governor with 34 percent, followed by Buffalo businessman Carl Paladino and Suffolk County Executive Steve Levy, each with 11 percent, the independent Quinnipiac (KWIN-uh-pe-ack) University poll finds.|
|Cuomo leads in possible general election:|
"Many of the emails included anti-Obama birther claims, and others were just pictures of naked women... Some of Paladino’s emails contain hardcore pornography. One contains a video clip involving bestiality. Other emails display an attitude of misogyny or blatant racism..." said the post by WNYMedia.net.
Monday, April 12, 2010
That’s what Cunningham’s friends and representatives say, too. Cunningham is “working” from home, his assigned office the past 19 months as he faces disciplinary action. He does little more than call a secretary twice a day to prove he’s at his Colonie residence
“His problems go back to the era where it was deeply resented that he helped to expose the prayer breakfast fiasco,” said Assemblyman John McEneny, who said he’s known Cunningham since the 1980s. “I would hope that the public’s outrage is with management. Michael is the victim. He’s been a nervous wreck over this.”
Sunday, April 11, 2010
These doom and gloom claims hoverer seemed not to be backed up by any real data or facts. Maybe that is why the Republican lead legislature pushed the resolution through in record time.
We were emailed some information that cast a more positive look on windmills, but it was a little late to post. Now that the temperature in the debate has cooled we are going to honor the request of posting this information.
From an email sent to us:
Off shore wind farms will have a negative effect on sport fishing.
“Dan Wilhelmsson studied how offshore wind turbines constitute habitats for fish, crabs, lobsters, fouling animals, and plants. He shows that wind turbines, even without scour protection, function as artificial reefs for bottom dwelling fish. The seabed in the vicinity of wind turbines had higher densities of fish compared to further away from the turbines and in reference areas. This was despite that the natural bottoms were rich in boulders and algae. Blue mussels dominated on the wind turbines that appeared to offer good growth conditions.”
Wind energy projects will harm house prices.
The evidence base in the US shows the opposite. House prices close to wind farms in some areas rose at a higher rate than the regional average. In the UK the evidence is not sufficient to come to definite conclusion, however what we can say (and indeed the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors say) is that from the research carried out so far, wind farms do not appear to have any discernable impact on property prices and that other variables have more of an impact.
"Neither the view of wind energy facilities nor the distance of the home to those facilities was found to have any consistent, measurable, and significant effect on the selling prices of nearby homes," according to report author Ben Hoen, a consultant to Berkeley Lab. "No matter how we looked at the data, the same result kept coming back -- no evidence of widespread impacts."
Read more: http://www.thedailygreen.com/environmental-news/latest/wind-farms-property-values-47120303#ixzz0hoKt4Cbc
Off shore wind farms will have a negative on our economy.
The State of South Carolina did a study of the potential economic impact of an Off-Shore Wind Farm to the area. The study found, “During the two-year construction phase the equivalent of up to 1,881 fulltime jobs will be created by direct, indirect and induced effects. Annual state economic output is predicted to increase by as much as $287 million, and annual disposable income is expected to increase by up to $93 million in the state. The fiscal effects resulting from the construction of an off-shore wind farm is predicted to be an increase in state income tax revenues of up to $2.8 million and an additional $190,000 in corporate income tax revenues over the two year period.”
Wind farms will have a negative on birds and Bats.
In certain circumstances, wind turbines can have adverse impacts on wildlife. Birds and bats may fly into the moving blades of a turbine, resulting in moralities, but wind energy turbines are low on the list of threats to birds and bats.
A 2007 National Academy of Sciences report in regards to the effects of wind energy on birds and bats found that existing wind turbines are not a threat to bird populations.
Changes in habitat brought about by climate change, which is mitigated by replacing fossil fuel use with renewable power, are a significant threat to avian and bat populations.
Off shore wind farms will have a negative affect Tourism and our Scenic Vistas.
Nine out of ten tourists visiting some of Scotland's top beauty spots say the presence of wind farms makes no difference to the enjoyment of their holiday, and twice as many people would return to an area because of the presence of a wind farm than would stay away, according to a poll carried out by MORI Scotland… British Wind Energy Association and the Scottish Renewables Forum, found that 91% said the presence of wind farms in the area made no difference to whether they would return, dispelling the myth that wind farms and tourism cannot co-exist. About 1 in 5 had actually seen one of the three wind farms in Argyll and when asked what effect if any they had had on their impression of Argyll, 55% of these people said "generally or completely positive", 32% "ambivalent" and only 8% "negative".
Saturday, April 10, 2010
Mahoney finds that five districts — including four on Long Island and one outside Rochester — now have more enrolled Democrats than Republicans, a flip from 2010.
Friday, April 9, 2010
Senate votes unanimously to pass food donation bill that limits liability for good faith donations
ALBANY (April 8, 2010)—The New York State Senate today passed legislation (58-0) known as the New York Restaurant Lending a Helping Hand Act, introduced by Sen. Darrel J. Aubertine, which would allow restaurants to make good faith donations of leftover food to charitable organizations without the threat of liability.
“In these tough economic times, the demand on our food banks and charitable organizations has increased, but unused food from restaurants—about a quarter of what is produced—is typically just thrown away,” said Sen. Aubertine, chair of the Senate Agriculture Committee which moved the bill unanimously. “This is a common sense bill that will protect restaurants and other eateries so they can do the right thing and make sure this food does not go to waste.”
Between 20 and 27 percent of the food produced throughout the country is thrown away, when this food could be used to help feed as many as 49 million people in need nationwide. The primary reason this food has gone to waste in most instances is the threat of liability.
Sen. Aubertine’s legislation provides that as long as other provisions of law are followed, a good faith donor of any canned or perishable food, farm product, game or wild game, apparently fit for human consumption, to a charitable organization, for free distribution, shall not be subject to criminal penalty or civil damages arising from the condition of the food, if the donor had inspected it at the time of donation and deemed it fit for human consumption.
“All this does is make clear in law that a donation of good food to charitable organizations is protected,” Sen. Aubertine said. “The need is real and this bill will make sure restaurants or farms are not punished for their good deeds.”
Removing this threat of liability will enable restaurants to develop relationships with charitable organizations to ensure excess, safe, and quality food goes to food pantries and charities to give to our neighbors in need. The bill has widespread support, including the New York State Restaurant Association, New York State Catholic Charities, the New York State Dietetic Association, and the New York Farm Bureau.
“New York Farm Bureau’s farm family members have consistently led the nation’s farmers in food donation to New York’s food banks. Senator Aubertine’s legislation helps remove a critical barrier to donation by removing some of the unknown liabilities that can be associated with donating a fresh product and not having control over the ultimate distribution of that product. This legislation provides yet another critical tool in the efforts of farm families to help our neighbors in a very challenging economic climate and keep the hungry fed with local farm products from local farmers,” said Dean Norton, President of New York Farm Bureau.
The New York Farm Bureau has again won the American Farm Bureau Federation award for donating the most produce to the state’s food banks—3.65 million pounds. Considering the scale of our state’s industry and its limited growing season compared to the nation’s number one agricultural state, California, this is an amazing achievement and shows how committed our farm families are to their community.
“Among the most basic of all charitable endeavors is the biblical mandate to feed the hungry. Even one adult or child going hungry is too many. But, sadly, in the Empire State, more than 2 million people are served by emergency food providers every year. This legislation represents a common-sense partnership between government, the business community and the not-for-profit sector to address the dramatic need that exists in all parts of our state. The New York State Catholic Conference is proud to support it,” said Earl Eichelberger, Director for Catholic Charities.
According to a 2009 USDA report and media coverage at the time of its release, nearly 17 million children in 2008, or 22.5 percent, lived in households in which food at times was scarce—up from about 13 million in 2007. The number of children who are hungry has risen more than 50 percent from 700,000 to almost 1.1 million. The overall population showed more than 16 percent, or 49 million people have run short of nutritious food, or about 33 percent more than in 2007. Approximately 4.8 million households turned to private food pantries for help, compared with 3.9 million in 2007, and about 625,000 households sought meals in soup kitchens.