Relates to licensure of exhibits or entertainment on fair grounds.
TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the agriculture and markets law and the not-for-profit corporation law, in relation to licensure of exhibits or entertainment on fair grounds
PURPOSE OR GENERAL IDEA: This bill would modify the agriculture and markets law relating to the powers of association of farmers pertaining to the use of agricultural fairgrounds, as well as the not for profit corporation law to clarify the relationship between exhibitions or entertainments on fair grounds and local laws or municipal ordinances.
SUMMARY OF SPECIFIC PROVISIONS:
Section one amends the agriculture and markets law to clarify that any association of farmers may lease their grounds for exhibitions and events, in addition to similar activities currently permitted, as well as to provide that any association of farmers may lease such grounds for the storage of personal property for profit.
Section two amends the not-for-profit corporation law to provide that agricultural and horticultural societies are exempt from local ordinances requiring an approval, except those requiring an approval to protect the safety, health, and well-being of persons, in addition to the current exemption from licensing fees. Section two further provides that agricultural and horticultural societies are exempt from unreasonably prohibitive or restrictive local ordinances that govern certain construction and maintenance activities on fairgrounds.
Section three provides the enactment date.
JUSTIFICATION: Agricultural or horticultural corporations are not-far-profit entities that organize their respective annual county fairs, for the promotion of their county or region's agriculture industry. This important mission dates back to the late nineteenth century and requires aggressive efforts by the organization's board of directors in generating revenue throughout the year, to sustain operations and to carry out its principal mission. Written at the turn of the last century, the not-for-profit corporation law addressed this need by establishing protections against certain financial burdens. Currently, this law exempts exhibitions or entertainments from the provisions of any special or local law or municipal ordinance that would impose a fee. With the numerous changes in how ordinances are imposed in the last century, and specifically during a time of economic difficulty, these protections need to be updated.
Accordingly, this bill would exclude agricultural and horticultural societies from local ordinances requiring an approval, except those requiring an approval to protect the safety, health, and well-being of persons. This bill would also exempt such societies from local ordinances that govern the construction, improvement, renovation, relocation, or demolition of grounds, buildings, and facilities in an unreasonably prohibitive or restrictive manner. Finally, this bill would clarify that any association of farmers may lease their grounds for exhibitions and entertainments as well as for the storage of
personal property for profit. The annual county fairs are vital fox the New York State agriculture industry. This is a timely bill that would afford needed protections to agricultural and horticultural societies, as well as associations of farmers, which will in turn continue to promote a strong and prosperous agriculture industry in New York State.
PRIOR LEGISLATIVE HISTORY: S5641-A of 2012 - 3rd Reading
FISCAL IMPLICATIONS: None.
EFFECTIVE DATE: This act shall take effect immediately.
STATE OF NEW YORK ________________________________________________________________________ 2384 2013-2014 Regular Sessions IN SENATE January 17, 2013 ___________Introduced by Sen. RITCHIE -- read twice and ordered printed, and when printed to be committed to the Committee on Agriculture AN ACT to amend the agriculture and markets law and the not-for-profit corporation law, in relation to licensure of exhibits or entertainment on fair grounds THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND ASSEM- BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS: Section 1. Section 290 of the agriculture and markets law is amended to read as follows: S 290. Association of farmers; powers of. Any association of farmers, residing in any neighborhood, town or county in this state, now, or hereafter to be organized, and acting under a constitution and by-laws adopted by themselves for their guidance, which shall be filed in the clerk's office of such town or county and which are not inconsistent with the laws of this state, is hereby authorized to lease and maintain grounds and structures for the exhibition and sale of the products of their farms or their skill, and for the instruction and recreation of its members and visitors. Any such association shall have authority to let, for rent, locations on their leased grounds to EXHIBITIONS, ENTER- TAINMENTS, shopmen and persons wishing to furnish suitable refreshments for victualing members and visitors OR FOR STORAGE OF PERSONAL PROPERTY WHEN PROPERTY IS AVAILABLE FOR SUCH ACTIVITY; to license peddlers to sell on their grounds articles of merchandise, not forbidden to be sold by any law of this state without license from the state; and in the name of such association and upon the action and direction of its officers, to sue for and collect the stipulated sums of such rentals and licenses, and to enforce the observance of its rules and regulations by the several members of its association. And such association is hereby empowered to issue certificates of indebtedness in amounts of five dollars each, providing that the whole amount shall not exceed the sum of one thousand dollars, which they may sell at a price not below theEXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets [ ] is old law to be omitted. LBD05849-01-3 S. 2384 2
par value thereof, for the purpose of raising money for the erection of buildings, or for such other improvements as may be deemed necessary by a majority of the members of such association. S 2. Paragraph (k) of section 1409 of the not-for-profit corporation law is amended to read as follows: (k) Exhibitions and entertainments on fair grounds to be exempt from license. The provisions of any special or local law or municipal ordinance, requiring the payment of a license fee for exhibitions or entertainments OR REQUIRING THAT AN APPROVAL BE OBTAINED FROM ANY LOCAL GOVERNMENT EXCEPT AN APPROVAL REQUIRED TO PROTECT THE SAFETY, HEALTH AND WELL-BEING OF PERSONS, shall not apply to any exhibition or entertainment held on the grounds of a town or county corporation whether or not the corpo- ration derives a pecuniary profit from such exhibition or entertainment by the lease of its grounds for such purpose AND THE PROVISIONS OF ANY SPECIAL OR LOCAL LAW OR MUNICIPAL ORDINANCE SHALL NOT BE CONSTRUED OR APPLIED TO UNREASONABLY PROHIBIT OR RESTRICT ANY AGRICULTURAL OR HORTI- CULTURAL CORPORATION RECEIVING REIMBURSEMENT PURSUANT TO ARTICLE TWEN- TY-FOUR OF THE AGRICULTURE AND MARKETS LAW FROM THE CONSTRUCTION, IMPROVEMENT, RENOVATION, RELOCATION OR DEMOLITION OF ALL OR ANY OF SUCH AGRICULTURAL OR HORTICULTURAL CORPORATION GROUNDS, BUILDINGS AND FACILI- TIES. S 3. This act shall take effect immediately.