Last Thursday, Gov. Cuomo held a public meeting of his cabinet in which he touted three of his on-going initiatives and announced a new one – a beer and wine summit to be held next month.

Secretary to the Governor Larry Schwartz gave an update on the property tax cap, and released a report “on the property tax cap’s successful first year.”  According to Schwartz, the cap has helped dramatically slow the growth of local tax hikes in its first year, with 95 percent of school districts and 81 percent of local governments adhering to the 2 percent growth limit.

Director of State Operations Howard Glaser gave an update on NY Works, and announced the Drivers First initiative.  Under this program, new road construction bids will include a component to ensure that the work does not impact motorists any more than it has to.

Department of Motor Vehicles Commissioner Barbara Fiala gave an update on the state’s new online voter registration web site.  She said that 16,000 people, including almost 6,000 first-time voters, have used the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) new online voter registration service, which was launched in mid-August.

Finally, Gov. Cuomo announced that that he will host a “Beer & Wine Summit” next month to consider ways the state can help the two industries.  A date for the event has not been set.

We are pleased that the governor is taking steps to help promote the wine and grape industry, which is a fast growing sector of the agricultural, and state, economy, as well as the craft beer industry.  Farm wineries and breweries are a growing segment of agriculture in our state, and the development of new markets will help them sell their products and continue this progress.  And, since they rely on crops from New York farms to craft their products, the agricultural industry benefits as well.