ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — The Democrat-led New York state Senate is holding the first of three hearings dedicated to proposals to expand the labor rights of farmworkers.

Under current law, agricultural workers aren't allowed to unionize to demand better wages or conditions. Legislation known as the Farmworker Fair Labor Practice Act would change that and extend disability and worker compensation benefits to farmworkers too.

Farm workers say it's unfair that they're not given the same rights as other workers. But many farm owners argue the legislation could prompt higher wages and strikes.

The first of three hearings on the bill is scheduled for Thursday in Morrisville in central New York. A second hearing on Friday will take place on Long Island, with a final hearing on May 2 in Sullivan County in the Catskills.