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COLUMN: Manufacturers in need of incentives; undoing costly mandates

Craft breweries

I am in support of legislation the Governor proposed last week that would allow farm breweries to operate restaurants, inns, bed and breakfasts adjacent to farm breweries. It would also allow them to conduct tastings on premises and sell related products such as souvenir items, beer-making equipment and supplies, as well as food that complements beer. This legislation is modeled after the Farm Winery Act, which spurred the growth of wine production in our state, bringing our total of farm wineries up to 273 and tripling the number of wineries. The legislation would also encourage locally grown ingredients, such as hops, to create the distinction of a New York State labeled beer. This is an important piece of the legislation to encourage more agriculture in the state. I am hopeful this makes its way to the Assembly and eventually into law.

Free fishing clinics may expand

Legislation was also put forth last week that would expand free fishing clinics in New York State. I have long been a proponent to encourage more recreational sports, which would bolster tourism and enhance our local economy. I sponsor legislation that would create “I Love NY Outdoors.” This would market our region as a premiere outdoor destination. These clinics are managed by the Department of Environmental Conservation. Providing more free fishing clinics would help introduce the sport to more individuals and families. Participants are not required to have a fishing license to attend these events but it may pique their interest to eventually obtain a license. New York's sport fishing industry generates an estimated $1.8 billion in economic activity annually, supporting nearly 17,000 jobs.

I would be pleased to see the DEC work more with the public to create such events to bolster the sport. Last year, we created free fishing clinics for veterans and active-duty members. I was proud to sponsor this legislation in the Assembly. This is one small way our state can say 'thank you' to our service members.

Assemblyman Will Barclay represents residents of Assembly District 124, which includes Lysander. He can be reached by mail at 200 North Second St., Fulton, NY 13069, by e-mail at barclaw@assembly.state.ny.us or by phone (598-5185).

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