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: This bill amends the agriculture and markets law relation to the powers of association of farmers pertaining to the use of agricultural fairgrounds and the not for profit corporation law in relation to exhibitions and entertainments on fair grounds.
SUMMARY: Section one amends the agriculture and markets law to clarify that association of farmers are able to host exhibitions and events on their fairgrounds in addition to those hosted during fair week.
Section two amends the not for profit corporation law to clarify that agricultural fairgrounds can be used for exhibitions and events in addition to fair week without the unnecessary involvement of local governments, except in instances to protect the public health and safety.
JUSTIFICATION: This bill would remove the confusion that currently exists with regard to the authority of local municipalities over activities on county fairgrounds. An agricultural or horticultural corporation is a not-for-profit entity established for the purpose of educating the general public about the agricultural industry and is run and maintained by the local association of farmers. To accomplish this mission, organization's board of directors must generate revenue throughout the year to sustain operations to carry out its principal mission. This need was anticipated and the not for profit corporation law specifically exempts exhibitions and entertainments on fair grounds from laws or ordinances imposed by local governments. Current law exempts exhibitions or entertainments from the provisions of any special or local law or municipal ordinance. However, the reference to payment of a license fee adds confusion to the statute.
This confusion is best demonstrated in a lawsuit brought by the village of Caledonia against the Livingston County Agricultural Society and Fair in 2010. The judge in the decision noted that where the wording of a statute is unclear it is up to the judiciary to interpret what the legislature intended. This amendment eliminates such confusion by clarifying language pertaining to the payment of a license fee as well as the powers of association of farmers.
LEGISLATIVE HISTORY: New Bill.
FISCAL IMPACT: None to the State.
EFFECTIVE DATE: This act shall take effect immediately.
STATE OF NEW YORK ________________________________________________________________________ 5641 2011-2012 Regular Sessions IN SENATE June 8, 2011 ___________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. LBD13022-01-1 S. 5641 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 PUBLIC HEALTH OR SAFETY, shall not apply to any exhibition or entertainment held on the grounds of a town or county corporation whether or not the corporation 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 UNREA- SONABLY PROHIBIT OR RESTRICT ANY AGRICULTURAL OR HORTICULTURAL CORPO- RATION RECEIVING REIMBURSEMENT PURSUANT TO ARTICLE TWENTY-FOUR OF THE AGRICULTURE AND MARKETS LAW FROM THE CONSTRUCTION, IMPROVEMENT, RENO- VATION, RELOCATION OR DEMOLITION OF ALL OR ANY OF SUCH CORPORATION GROUNDS, BUILDINGS AND FACILITIES. S 3. This act shall take effect immediately.