Assemblywoman Woerner: Three Pieces of Legislation Signed into Law

October 25, 2017

Assemblywoman Carrie Woerner (D-Round Lake) announced that three pieces of legislation she authored have been signed into law.

Woerner authored legislation that sets limits on liability risk for owners who take necessary precautions by clearly identifying and marking risks that are inherently associated with farms such as uneven ground, animals and machinery. (Ch. 338 of 2017).

“Agricultural tourism is a critical component of our economy and helps small, family-owned farms succeed here in Saratoga and Washington Counties,” Woerner said. “Addressing the rising cost of liability insurance will make it easier and more affordable for our local farms to offer the apple-picking, Christmas tree-cutting, maple tapping, and other agricultural tourism activities that are so important for our economy, tourism, and communities.”

Twenty-six other states already limit liability exposure for agritourism businesses, and adding New York to the list will help local farms. The legislation protects farms that diversify their income with apple orchards, pumpkin patches, Christmas trees, winery tours, hay rides and other agritourism ventures. “The cost for liability insurance keeps going up and it’s unsustainable,” Woerner said. “The rates are prohibiting new farms from opening and current farms from expanding. By creating a uniform standard of liability, we can cut operating costs and boost our agritourism industry.”

Another new law grants the Malta town board the discretion to set speed limits on roadways within the town’s jurisdiction (Ch. 356 of 2017). Under the new law, Malta will be able to reduce speed limits on local roads below the state statutory 55 miles per hour to no lower than 25 miles per hour, and no lower than 15 miles per hour in school zones.

“After hearing from residents concerned about the safety of local children living and playing near potentially dangerous roadways, I worked to craft legislation that would allow the town of Malta to set its own speed limits. While existing speed limits work in most cases, the people who live here know what will work best for their neighborhoods. This bill will provide the town with the authority to more precisely adjust speed limits, ultimately making roads safer for Malta’s families.”

Woerner’s third bill signed into law this week will help fund new trails and maintain current trails across New York State. It will support the state’s snowmobile trail system by directing increased revenues from fines for operating a snowmobile without a registration and/or failing to renew a registration. (Ch. 341 of 2017).

“The popularity of snowmobiling in this region and across Upstate New York continues to grow,” Woerner said. “Thousands of snowmobilers enjoy our trail system every year, and it’s a huge economic driver, contributing nearly $900 million to our economy. This legislation encourages up-to-date snowmobile registration and investment in our trails.”

For her vocal advocacy of the issues prioritized by snowmobilers, Woerner was named the 2017 Legislator of the Year by the New York State Snowmobile Association (NYSSA). NYSSA is one of the largest snowmobiling associations in the world, and it connects all 229 snowmobile clubs in New York. NYSSA volunteers are critical to maintaining the public snowmobile trail system.