Below is the text of an April 23, 2015 email from Larry Wilson, chairman of the New York Alliance for Environmental Concerns (NYAFEC) regarding two bills passed by the New York state Senate earlier that day:

Dear Friends,

Today, the NYS Senate passed 2 bills that we had sponsored (not for the first time).

They were passed 61 votes to 0, unanimous.

The first bill, which was a Lobby Day key issue for us, Senate bill S1626, sponsored by Senator Carl Marcellino from Long Island, which permits commercial applicators of pesticides to apply pesticides in a dosage, concentration or frequency less than that specified on the labeling, our so called “less than label rate” bill. We owe Senator Marcellino an immense debt of gratitude for carrying this bill for us in the Senate. We also owe no small measure of gratitude to Assemblyman Bill Magee from Oneida, New York who carries this bill for us in the Assembly (A1461). The New York State Assembly has blocked passage of this bill in the past; we hope for better this year, but the Assembly EnCon Committee has not given this bill a chance.

The second bill, also a Lobby Day key issue, Senate bill S3064, sponsored by Senator Catharine Young from Cattaraugus County in Western New York. In my view, Catharine, who has helped us many times before is a Rising Star in the New York Legislature. She sponsored the most important bill to establish the long standing “Federal” definition of Integrated Pest Management that we have used and practiced for decades. We also owe Senator Young a huge debt of gratitude for carrying this bill for us in the Senate. Additionally we owe tremendous gratitude to Assembly Member Aileen Gunther from Orange and Sullivan Counties for carrying this bill in the Assembly (A1186).

Since Assemblyman Englebright, chair of the Assembly EnCon Committee, has his own convoluted definition of IPM (which eliminates chemical controls from the equation), our bill faces overwhelming odds in the Assembly. We will continue to push our definition of IPM, because if we relent and back down, the oddball definition sponsored by Assemblyman Englebright could become the law of the land would take your tools away.

I believe that the passage of these 2 bills in the NYS Senate is a major yardstick to assess the work of the New York Alliance for Environmental Concerns. Rick Zimmerman and Todd Vandervort from the Vandervort Group asked these legislators to sponsor the bills at the request of the NYAFEC Board. Our industry regularly supports these legislators, and they see the benefits to the public inherent in these bills. These bills may not pass the Assembly, but they stand in the public record as testimony to a substantial departure from the ideas and philosophies expressed by those oblivious to the science and observable realities that guide us. It is the NYAFEC contributors AND the committed men and women that gave their time back in March to attend the Turfgrass Lobby Day, and marched from office to office through the halls of the New York State Legislative Office Building explaining these bills to legislators, that deserve credit for this. It is MAJOR in my view.