A Column by Assemblyman Steve Hawley (R,C,I-Batavia)


As another legislative session comes to a close, the people of New York have once again been left on the hook with a $220 billion budget that’s more bloated than ever before. It seems with every year the Majority passes budgets that cost more but do less for the average working family in this state, and while the small tax cuts in this year’s plan were welcome, they simply won't be enough to give New Yorkers the financial jolt they need now more than ever. As prices on just about everything continue to skyrocket with no end in sight, I am disappointed that solutions our conference proposed to bring our residents substantive relief were not considered in earnest. 


Our Inflation Relief and Consumer Assistance Plan (A.8481) would make everyday necessities, such as gasoline, prepared foods, household goods and personal care products, state tax-free for two years. The savings provided by this bill would be immediate and, perhaps most importantly, would help those hit hardest by inflation, some of whom have had to make hard decisions between paying for rent or groceries. 


As if the financial strain affecting our communities wasn’t enough to contend with, people now feel less safe than ever in their own communities. According to a recent poll conducted by Spectrum News and Siena College, 7 in 10 New York City residents fear they may become a victim of violent crime. Their sentiments are also shared statewide, according to another Siena poll, finding that our residents are more concerned about crime than any other singular issue. 


We need to restore respect for laws and law enforcement. We need to help victims, not criminals, and we need to restore judicial discretion. Our constituents were counting on us to fix bail reform, and it’s saddening that they will now be the ones who will suffer the consequences of its shortcomings in their neighborhoods. 


I only hope that this November every voter will remember who stood up for their wallets and their neighborhoods by demanding direct solutions, and those who instead put forward half-measures and downplayed their suffering.


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published this page in Blog 2022-06-22 11:12:08 -0400
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