Assemblyman Steve Hawley (R,C,I-Batavia) today chided members of the Assembly Veterans’ Affairs Committee for blocking a package of bills that would have provided financial relief for veterans’ groups and their families at recreational facilities. Hawley, who has served on the Veterans’ Affairs Committee for many years, is also a veteran and hosts an annual trip to Washington D.C. each September for local veterans and their families – the Patriot Trip.

            Hawley served as acting Ranking Republican Member of Tuesday’s committee meeting and insisted that each bill be considered on its own merits so that a vote could be taken on each instead of choosing to ‘Hold for Consideration’ – a legislative action which essentially kills the legislation.

            Three of the bills had bipartisan support, yet all were blocked by a vote of 10-8.

The bills blocked by the Assembly Majority include:

            “It continues to baffle me that members of the downstate majority refuse to repay our brave veterans for their service to our state and nation,” Hawley said. “The costs associated with these measures are miniscule compared to the costs and sacrifices many veterans paid while protecting our freedom – and yet they were all blocked. As we witnessed when downstate lawmakers blocked my Gold Star families bill earlier this year, the majority has no issue rewarding illegal individuals with driver’s licenses or prison inmates with pay raises but turn their backs when it comes to our veterans – disgraceful.”

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