The Latest: New York lawmakers OK farmworker rights bill

ALBANY, N.Y. — The Latest on the New York state Legislature as it works toward adjournment (all times local):

10 p.m.

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Lawmakers in Albany have voted to give farmworkers the right to organize, collect overtime and get a day off.

The Democrat-led Senate and Assembly passed the legislation Wednesday after several hours of debate.

Under current law, farm labourers do not have the right to organize. The proposal would change that, and ensure that farmworkers earn overtime if they work more than 60 hours a week. They would also be guaranteed one day of rest each week.

Supporters, including many farm labourers, their advocates and groups including the Catholic Church, say the workers deserve the same rights and benefits as other workers. Many farm owners had warned that the measure could dramatically increase farm labour costs.

Lawmakers passed the bill as they prepare to adjourn for the year this week.


2:14 a.m.

New York lawmakers are expected to adopt the nation's most aggressive carbon emission reduction goals and give new rights to farmworkers as they work to complete their work for the year.

The Democrat-led Senate and Assembly are scheduled to adjourn Wednesday, but must vote on hundreds of bills first.

One measure that passed the Senate Tuesday would set a goal of 100 per cent renewable energy by 2040 in an effort to address climate change.

Both chambers planned to pass legislation allowing farmworkers to collectively bargain and make them eligible for overtime.

Other high-profile proposals awaiting action would restrict solitary confinement in prisons and set a new legal standard for sexual harassment to help victims pursue lawsuits.

Efforts to legalize recreational marijuana, however, fizzled after supporters conceded their bill wouldn't pass.

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