December 2014

December 29, 2014                                                                               


            Assemblyman Steve Hawley (R,C,I-Batavia) is wishing residents of the 139th Assembly District and all New Yorkers a happy and safe New Year. Hawley said that New Years can be a fun time to start fresh with new commitments and put past mistakes in the rear view mirror. 

            “From my family to yours I am wishing all my constituents and all New Yorkers a happy and safe New Year,” Hawley said. “I would encourage you to start something new in 2015 and put past mistakes behind you. We can all use a fresh start and the new year is a time to reflect back on our successes and failures and see where we can improve privately and professionally.  Have a fun New Year’s Eve, but if you chose to consume alcohol please do so responsibly and always have a designated driver available. As you spend time with friends and family around the holidays please take time and reflect on those members of our armed forces who will be abroad protecting our country.”

            Hawley has consistently supported family bonding and community involvement during the holiday season.  Furthermore, his service for the Army National Guard and U.S. Army Reserves has given him the experience needed in Albany as he serves as the Ranking Minority Member of the Assembly’s Veterans Affairs Committee. 


December 22, 2014                                                                               



            Assemblyman Steve Hawley (R,C,I-Batavia) is wishing residents of the 139th Assembly District and all New Yorkers a happy and safe Christmas season.  Hawley commented that Christmas is an important time of the year to appreciate what we have and enjoy buying and receiving gifts for family and friends. 

            “On behalf of myself and my family I would like to wish all of my constituents and New Yorkers state-wide a Merry Christmas,” Hawley said.  “I encourage everyone to spend the upcoming holiday with loved ones and make an attempt to give back to those less fortunate so that they may be able to enjoy the holiday as well.  While you are enjoying Christmas with loved ones, please take time and reflect on those members of our armed services that will spend the holidays away from their families in duty to our nation.”

            Hawley, a Veteran of the Army National Guard and U.S. Army Reserves, has been a strong advocate for veterans’ affairs during his time in the Legislature, serving as Ranking Minority Member of the Assembly’s Veterans Affairs Committee.  Hawley, born and raised in Western New York, is a strong proponent for families and takes every opportunity to support family and community bonding.


December 22, 2014                                                                               


          Assemblyman Steve Hawley (R,C,I-Batavia) is encouraging residents of his district to support local small businesses this holiday season as much as possible.  Small businesses are the driving force of our economy and by spending right here at home there is a better chance that funds will be reinvested into Western New York instead of spent elsewhere.  Furthermore, Hawley emphasized that his constituents’ close proximity to a large local agricultural sector as well as the Finger Lakes Region provides a great opportunity to buy local dairy, wine and other products made by local small businesses. 

            “I am encouraging all of my constituents to support local area small businesses as much as possible this holiday season,” Hawley said.  “I believe that as people begin to shop for gifts and prepare for large holiday meals they will find that our region provides a tremendous opportunity to purchase fresh products that were either grown or prepared locally.  In doing so, they will be supporting local job growth for our neighbors and friends as well as ensuring that money spent here is reinvested back into our economy.”

            Hawley’s comments come after Americans celebrated National Small Business Saturday and tens of millions of consumers shopped local, according to the National Federation of Independent Businesses (NFIB) and American Express.  Hawley, a Western New York native, has been a staunch proponent of buying local and supporting the large number of locally-owned farms in his district.  Hawley’s district and the nearby Finger Lakes Region are historically known for producing its own wine, cheese and beer that contributes largely to the area’s economy.           

December 18, 2014                                                                               


            “Gov. Cuomo’s decision to defer to the New York State Health Department’s opinion on hydraulic fracturing allows him to wash his hands of the situation while virtually guaranteeing that fracking will not happen in New York,” Hawley said.  “While I understand the potential economic benefits of allowing fracking in New York State, I believe we must take into account the preservation of our environment when making such an important decision.  While dozens of other states, including our neighbor Pennsylvania, have allowed their natural gas deposits to be safely fracked, it is crucial to examine how hydraulic fracturing will affect such as vital natural resource as our drinking water.  In this case, Gov. Cuomo clearly favored environmental concerns over the potential for new jobs, lower taxes and more abundant natural resources.”

December 12, 2014                                                                               



            Assemblyman Steve Hawley (R,C,I-Batavia) today commented on the resignation of New York State Education Commissioner John King. Hawley believes King’s appointment to the US Department of Education is troubling, considering the disastrous implementation of Common Core under his leadership.  Hawley pointed out that the vacuum at the top of New York’s Education Department provides The Board of Regents an opportunity to appoint a commissioner who will implement policy more responsibly and work with all parties involved to make much needed changes to Common Core in the near future.

            “Now that Commissioner King has resigned we can move forward in better shaping education policy in New York State,” Hawley said. “His tenure as Commissioner of Education represents some of the worst education policy ever implemented in the history of the state and one of my top priorities moving forward will be to slow down the process and re-evaluate the Common Core Standards with more input from stakeholders. The Assembly Minority Conference’s APPLE Plan would have solved many of the struggles and concerns related to Common Core but the Assembly Majority did not allow it to come up for a vote. I hope that Gov. Cuomo and education officials can work with legislative leaders in a bipartisan fashion to make necessary reforms moving forward.”

            Hawley’s comments come after Commissioner King announced Wednesday that he will be stepping down as New York State Education Commissioner at the end of the year to take a position as Senior Advisor to U.S. Education Commissioner Arne Duncan. Hawley, a member of the Genesee Valley BOCES Board of Education for eight years as well as the recipient of a Bachelor’s Degree in Education, has been a staunch opponent of Common Core.  Hawley was also named “Outstanding New Legislator” in the Assembly in 2008 by the New York State School Board Association. He, along with the other members of the Assembly Minority Conference, co-sponsored the APPLE Plan which would have made significant reforms to Common Core. The bill was defeated as a floor amendment last legislative session.   

December 12, 2014                                                                                 



            Assemblyman Steve Hawley (R,C,I-Batavia) recently announced that nearly $2 million dollars in Regional Economic Development funding will be awarded to projects locally in Genesee County.  Hawley expressed confidence that the funding will create new sustainable jobs and improve the infrastructure of Western New York.

            “I am excited to announce that six of the major projects in Genesee County will receive a combined nearly $2 million in funding,” said Hawley.  “In a time when people are still struggling and the economy has not fully recovered, this just may be the spark we need to become a viable economic powerhouse again.  The funding package includes several hundred thousand dollars directly for the City of Batavia and other areas of the county will now have the opportunity to upgrade their sewer, sanitation and infrastructure systems.”

            Hawley’s comments come after Gov. Cuomo’s announcement that $709.2 million will be awarded through round four of the Regional Economic Development Council (REDC) Initiative.  The Finger Lakes Region was awarded the most funding at $80.7 million to fund 100 projects.  The REDC initiative was started by Gov. Cuomo in 2011 in order to created jobs and transform economic development funding from a top-down oriented approach to one that is grassroots, locally controlled and performance driven. 

December 11, 2014                                                                               



            Assemblyman Steve Hawley (R,C,I-Batavia) was recently named to the 2014 Circle of Friends by the New York Farm Bureau.  Hawley graciously accepted the honor and thanked the Farm Bureau for recognizing his hard work advocating for agriculture during his time in the legislature. 

            “I would like to thank the New York Farm Bureau for this recognition,” Hawley said.  “My district in Western New York contains many farms and many families in my area sell crops as a primary or secondary source of income.  It is of the utmost importance to me that we support legislation that will enhance farmers’ abilities to expand their businesses and sell their products on a wider scale.  Farms remain a driving force in New York State and a facet of our economy that we cannot take for granted.”

            The Circle of Friends designation is based primarily on a legislator’s willingness to introduce bills that bolster the farming economy and support or vote against legislation concurrent with the New York Farm Bureau’s policies.  Hawley is the former owner and operator of Hawley Farms and has also served as President of the Genesee County Farm Bureau. 

December 4, 2014                                                                               


            Assemblyman Steve Hawley (R,C,I – Batavia) is looking to make the $5 billion surplus from the Paribus Bank lawsuit work for the people of Western New York. He’s proposing the money go toward eliminating the Gap Elimination Adjustment (GEA) that callously cut funding from our schools, providing better broadband access, and improving local roads and bridges to better accommodate the agricultural and tourism economies.

            “A lot has been said and is going to be said about the opportunities that this $5 billion surplus affords our state,” Hawley said. “I will be fighting for the elimination of the GEA, which has caused our schools a great hardship over the past few years. We must restore these cuts and make sure our schools receive the funding necessary to provide an equal education for all students.”

The assemblyman would continue, “Another way we do this is provide up-to-date technology. In rural communities like mine, we struggle with access to broadband internet connection. We can use these funds to ensure all New Yorkers have access to broadband internet, and continue moving New York’s economy into the 21st century.”

            “We also have bridges and roads that are not structurally capable of handling our growing agricultural economy. This is stifling the growth of our regional and state economies. By repairing these bridges and ensuring they have the capacity to carry the products created by our agricultural-based economy as well as support the plows needed to clear our roadways during the winter months, we can make a remarkable difference not just in our community and in Western New York, but across the state,” Hawley said.



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