State Sense. Michelle Hinchey and George Borrello want to see more agricultural products purchased by New York State, including its public schools.
Hinchey, D-Kingston, is the sponsor of S.6808A, which was recently passed unanimously by the State Senate Tenders and Contracts Committee. The legislation establishes a goal that at least 15 percent of all food and food products purchased by state agencies come from New York State in the first and second years of the program, with the percentage increasing to 25% the third year.
In his legislative rationale, Hinchey wrote that the State Food Measures Act of 2013 (S.4061/A.5102) established a framework to monitor state agency food expenditures while tracking origin. food they buy. The 2013 law directs the Office of General Services and the Department of Agriculture and Markets to establish guidelines for public agencies on local food sourcing. Over the past nine years, however, no percentage target has been set.
“I am a co-sponsor of this bill with Senator Hinchey,” Borrello said during the Purchasing and Contracts Committee meeting. “She’s the chair of the Agriculture Committee and I’m the most senior member. I think this is a very important step. Especially in our schools, we should really focus on local agriculture. At breakfast we should be serving milk and grape juice, not Florida orange juice. We should focus on New York State food products. Unfortunately, we are not doing enough. I will say that part of the problem is that it is difficult to get New York State products, as a restaurant owner, through the wholesale system. This is another challenge we have to face. I think for state agencies, that’s not a problem. I think it is an excellent bill and I am happy to support it.
The committee also passed the following bills:
¯ S370A, which requires certain state-owned and operated parking lots, open parking lots and other parking facilities to install and maintain charging stations for plug-in electric vehicles. The law is passed unanimously.
¯ S6616, which establishes the Ethical Standards for State Agency Contractors Act. It passed unanimously.
¯ S8062, which exempts the review of certain contracts from the suspension of certain laws during a state disaster emergency – passed unanimously.
¯ S8145, which requires the Commissioner of the Office of General Services to compile, make public, and maintain certain state board information. There is no comprehensive public inventory of state commissions, councils, councils, task forces, or similar bodies. The Oversight, Analysis and Investigation Committee recently completed a review of over 100 legally authorized boards, task forces and commissions. The review found that only around half had online information, only 30% listed public meetings and only 45% had easily accessible contact details. The bill was passed in committee unanimously.